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AWB turns crisis into a scandal: Honesty really can be the best policy

David Pollitt (David Pollitt)

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 13 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to highlight the circumstances in which a crisis-response strategy can compound a crisis. The paper focuses on AWB Ltd, Australia, where the organizational damage of a “cover-up” caused additional damage to the company.


It provides an insight into the application of theories and research on crisis and reputation management and the specific challenges and risks of corporate scandals.


It demonstrates that corporate scandals can easily descend into a secondary or “double crisis” if incorrectly managed, or even mismanaged.

Practical implications

Examines the initial failed response strategy and the more appropriate response eventually undertaken by the company.


Offers the additional insights of the author, as a former member of the management team at the company.



Pollitt, D. (2014), "AWB turns crisis into a scandal: Honesty really can be the best policy", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 22 No. 7, pp. 18-20.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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