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“It will happen again”: What SARS taught businesses about crisis management

Brennan Day (Niagara University, Niagara Falls, New York, USA)
Ruth Burnice McKay (Carleton University, Canada)
Michael Ishman (Niagara University, Niagara Falls, New York, USA)
Ed Chung (Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



Important lessons can be learnt from the recent SARS epidemic, which reminds us that despite technology and science, the world is not entirely secure from such outbreaks. In addition to health issues and the toll of human suffering, SARS caused much distress within the business community, especially those companies with operations in emerging economies. We look at what lessons can be and have been learnt from the epidemic, and offer a modified framework of crisis management planning to help businesses deal better with similar epidemics in the future. We are also disheartened that very little concrete action seems to have been implemented to foster contingency planning by businesses, despite the financial impact and crisis brought on by SARS.



Day, B., Burnice McKay, R., Ishman, M. and Chung, E. (2004), "“It will happen again”: What SARS taught businesses about crisis management", Management Decision, Vol. 42 No. 7, pp. 822-836.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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