A Systems Approach to Crisis Preparedness and Organizational Resilience

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Organizational Crisis

From Class Session 1: An organizational crisis is anything which could:

Seeger, Sellnow and Ulmer define organizational crises as "specific, unexpected, and non-routine events or series of events that [create] high levels of uncertainty and threat or perceived threat to an organization's high priority goals."[1]

S.J. Venette defines crisis more generally as a process of transformation where the old system can no longer be maintained." [2]

Crises are often unexpected because:

Crises in the future may be much more severe and life-threatening

The past century and a half has been a period of great political and economic stability in America. This is more the exception than the rule throughout history. Moreover, many ominous developments suggest the possibility, even likelihood, of cataclysmic local, national and planetary crises with which individuals and organizations will have to cope.    

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[1] Seeger, M. W.; Sellnow, T. L.; Ulmer, R. R. (1998). "Communication, organization, and crisis". Communication Yearbook 21: 231-275.

[2] Venette, S. J. (2003). Risk communication in a High Reliability Organization: APHIS PPQ's inclusion of risk in decision making. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Proquest Information and Learning.

[3] Mitroff.I. (2005) Why some companies emerge stronger and better from a crisis, p36

[4] Mitroff.I. (2001) 

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Date Page Created: Apr 20, 2011 Last Page Update: Feb 1, 2011