Communication and Organizational Crisis

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - Business & Economics - 297 pages
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Crisis events are increasingly common. Their impacts are greater-and they are more widely reported in the media-than ever before. They often symbolize tragedy and loss, but they are also the precipitating factors in radical, rapid, and frequently positive social change. Understanding the complex dynamics of these powerful events is imperative for both researchers and managers. Taking a broad view of organizational crisis, the authors synthesize a rich and diverse body of theory, research, and practice and apply it to every kind of crisis imaginable, from oil spills to nuclear disasters, airplane crashes, shuttle explosions, and corporate implosions such as Enron. The organization can be anything from a company to a federal bureaucracy or society. Organizational crisis is presented as a natural stage in organizational evolution, creating not only stress and threats but also opportunities for growth and development.

Communication is viewed as the pivotal process in the creation and maintenance of organization, and its role is examined here at every stage, from incubation to avoidance, crisis management, and recovery. Researchers, crisis managers, and communications managers will find a wealth of applied theoretical orientations, including chaos theory, sensemaking, organizational learning theory, and more.

 

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Contents

The Nature of Organizational Crisis
3
Theories of Organizational Crisis
21
Crisis Type
45
Communication and Crisis
65
Stages of Crisis Development
83
Crisis Development
85
Communication and the Precrisis Stage
105
Communication and the Crisis Stage
125
Crisis Teams and Decision Making
185
Communication and Risk
201
The Role of Crisis
217
Crisis and Ethics
219
Crisis and Leadership
239
The Role of Crisis in Society
257
References
275
Author Index
289

Communication and the Postcrisis Stage
141
Crisis Management Functions
161
Crisis Planning
163

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Page ix - In light of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Bush administration has announced a new war on terrorism.

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About the author (2003)

MATTHEW W. SEEGER is Associate Professor of Communication at Wayne State University, Detroit.

TIMOTHY L. SELLNOW is Professor of Communication at North Dakota State University, Fargo.

ROBERT R. ULMER is Associate Professor of Speech Communication at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.

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