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Communication and cultural distortion during crises

Clive Smallman (Lecturer in Business Process Management, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK)
David Weir (Dean, University of Northumbria, Newcastle Business School, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 1 March 1999


The paper starts with a description of a risk management model more suited to the current business environment. Key to the introduction of the model is the success of organizational communication and culture. Aspects of culture are explained using cultural theory. This is followed by a discussion of the critical role of communication, and the theory of the social amplification of risk is presented and analysed. From here the paper moves to the development of a framework explaining communications behaviour during crisis. The notions of structural distortion and communications degradation during crises are used to explain behavioural (cultural changes) distortion. Total risk management is presented as a notional solution to these problems.



Smallman, C. and Weir, D. (1999), "Communication and cultural distortion during crises", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 33-41.




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