Crisis Management: The New Global Constant

Kenneth R. Brousseau, David M. Morris, and Pauline N. Johnson

Managing crises is becoming a modern day constant, a continuous fact of life in multinational enterprises. Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, plus wars both large and small take their tolls in lives and in business disruptions. Rare is the day when a crisis of some sort is not underway somewhere on this planet.

Yet, crises catch many businesses unaware and unprepared. Frequently, those charged with the responsibility of cleaning up and mopping up lack knowledge about the dynamics that determine how quickly and successfully operations can be returned to normalcy. Experience and research tells us that, in any crisis, the central element affecting success, revolves around the belief of those on the scene that they can and will overcome the crisis and go on to thrive in the future. Even in the same crisis situation, those who believe in their own, personal efficacy recover quickly and go on to do well; those who believe that their lives are determined by forces beyond their control tend to falter or fail altogether.

This quality of belief can be viewed as a character trait. Yet, here again, research and experience show us that this belief is quite plastic. The implication is that an enterprise can raise or lower this belief by the actions that the enterprise takes to shore up the persons on whose energy, ingenuity and persistence recovery from a crisis depends. To gain further insight into the dynamics of this central belief in one's personal efficacy. ...More