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Crisis management or crisis response system? A complexity science approach to organizational crises

Alexandros Paraskevas (Department of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Management, Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 August 2006

15137

Abstract

Purpose

To offer a complexity‐informed framework for the design of an effective organizational crisis response system.

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative analysis of the crisis response in a hotel chain facing a major food poisoning outbreak, seen from a complexity theory perspective. Data were collected through 17 in‐depth interviews of persons involved in the crisis response and through analysis of secondary data.

Findings

The analysis identified weaknesses in the chain's crisis response and complexity theory provided a good theoretical foundation of the proposals to overcome them.

Practical implications

Organizations should redefine the role of crisis management plans and crisis management teams. An effective crisis response should be viewed as a living (co‐evolving) system within the organization. By adopting complexity principles the organization can make this system far more effective.

Originality/value

The paper is among the very few that deal with crisis management from a complexity perspective.

Keywords

Citation

Paraskevas, A. (2006), "Crisis management or crisis response system? A complexity science approach to organizational crises", Management Decision, Vol. 44 No. 7, pp. 892-907. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740610680587

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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