Crisis Management

Article excerpt

Byline: Breakfast Table: Adrian Cristobal

THE "Wowowee" disaster that hit ABS-CBN is a reminder of the "new corporate discipline" thatas now known as "crisis management." It may seem like a euphemism for "snow job," a matter of stonewalling and vehement denial, but American businesses have known since the 1980s, crises should be managed rather than stumble into them.

Itas easy, say management gurus, to make intelligent decisions after the fact. The real challenge, however, is making them in moments of anxiety and panic. Thatas why businesses have crisis management teams which identify vulnerabilities and potential remedies. A crisis management team lays out a general script.

A study by the Institute for Crisis Management in the US found out that a quarter of business crises come out of the blue. Most are "smoldering" rather than sudden, and are the results of mistakes that management has made. Signs of trouble exist but are ignored or overlooked.

Charles Perrow, a sociologist, pointed out that "normal accidents" could occur as technologies and organizations become more complicated; theyare likely to break down even in the absence of malice or intentional neglect. …