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Think like a sociopath, act like a saint

Ian I. Mitroff (Harold Quinton Distinguished Professor of Business Policy in the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Journalism in the Annenberg School of Communications at USC (

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



Crisis‐prepared organizations employ a number of distinct and creative strategies to cope with crises: they conduct internal assassin team exercises where they attempt to destroy their organizations given their privileged inside knowledge; they attempt to think like paranoids in order to come up with unpalatable and unthinkable scenarios; they imagine themselves in totally different industries in order to think about how crises that are not endemic to them can happen nonetheless. While no organization can fully prevent major crises, it can recover faster and with substantially less costs by being prepared.



Mitroff, I.I. (2004), "Think like a sociopath, act like a saint", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 42-53.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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