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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2002

Tony Jaques

Most issue management practitioners and scholars accept that issue management has progressed substantially over 25 years, from primarily a reactive crisis prevention tool…

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Abstract

Most issue management practitioners and scholars accept that issue management has progressed substantially over 25 years, from primarily a reactive crisis prevention tool to a maturing strategic management discipline. But the terminology used within issue management to define the different management positions has not kept pace with that evolution. In fact some of the language used heavily influences responses to issues and limits the apparent framework of choice. This paper reviews some past efforts to develop appropriate terminology and proposes an alternative lexicon.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2017

Carolina Acedo Darbonnens and Malgorzata Zurawska

Crisis management (CM) has gained prominence in the last decades, as the complex global business environment has forced executives to pay attention to practices that may…

Abstract

Crisis management (CM) has gained prominence in the last decades, as the complex global business environment has forced executives to pay attention to practices that may safeguard organizations against potential crises. However, despite the fact that various scholars point to the need for autonomy and delegation of authority when responding to crises, it appears that the overarching rationale in the crisis literature is geared toward a centralized approach. This suggests that preventive actions and response to crises lie mainly with the leader of the organization and with designated crises teams. It is also apparent that this literature places too much weight on contingency plans and classification schemes. Although behavioral factors have been discussed by some authors as a fundamental element in dealing with crises, it is not clear how to develop these traits. It is our contention then that these conventional perspectives, although valuable to CM, are insufficient to deal with the uncertainty that characterizes global business today where firms must be prepared for the unexpected. We discuss the limitations of this traditional approach and argue for a combination of central control with decentralized execution when responding to unexpected crises situations. This enables management to better comprehend the complexity embedded in any crisis and allows adaptive practices to emerge throughout the organization. An analysis of two cases paired with empirical field studies support our proposition.

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2008

Tony Jaques

The purpose of this paper is to assess the work of Howard Chase within the history of public relations, his role in the birth and development of issue management, and his…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the work of Howard Chase within the history of public relations, his role in the birth and development of issue management, and his relevance for contemporary practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Research for this paper draws heavily on the speeches and writings of Chase himself, both before and after the formal establishment of issue management, as well as commentary from key writers.

Findings

While Chase is widely acknowledged as the founder of issue management in 1976, his writings reveal that he saw this “new science” as only one part of a much broader restructuring of management design in which he positioned public policy and profit as corporate objectives of equal importance. Analysis confirms his work was innovative and of historical significance, but it has been increasingly outdated by evolution of the discipline he created.

Originality/value

Despite Chase's pioneering role, modern writing in the field usually cites little more than his definitions and his process model. This paper revisits his original concepts in their contemporary context, providing a fresh framework against which to properly assess his contribution.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 August 2010

Tony Jaques

The purpose of this paper is to characterize the danger period which extends before a crisis and to position issue management as an effective crisis prevention discipline.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize the danger period which extends before a crisis and to position issue management as an effective crisis prevention discipline.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores scholarship regarding the developing concept of active pre‐crisis management, the growing acceptance of crisis management as an integrated process and the implications of this holistic approach in providing opportunities for proactive intervention.

Findings

While crisis preparedness and prevention have become established as integral parts of organizational crisis management, there is no agreement on taxonomy and no accepted optimal process to formalize the methodology to deliver effective strategies.

Originality/value

After identifying and characterizing this gap in management research, the paper nominates issue management as an optimal option and identifies four broad areas where issue management can contribute to crisis prevention.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2008

Tony Jaques

When two 14‐year‐old New Zealand schoolgirls challenged the advertising claims of Ribena blackcurrant drink – owned by global giant GlaxoSmithKline – they triggered a…

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Abstract

Purpose

When two 14‐year‐old New Zealand schoolgirls challenged the advertising claims of Ribena blackcurrant drink – owned by global giant GlaxoSmithKline – they triggered a sequence of events which led to prosecution, public opprobrium and international damage to an iconic brand. The purpose of this paper is to explore the case and identify lessons for future management practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Some of the fundamental principles of issue management, post‐crisis discourse and corporate apologia are to recognize the problem early, to promptly institute a strategic response plan and corrective action and, if necessary, to apologise genuinely and without delay. The paper assesses the case against the theoretical basis of each of these principles and comparable cases. A senior executive of the company concerned was interviewed about some management aspects.

Findings

Despite early indications of a problem which had potential impact around the world, a major global corporation responded inadequately to a local situation and, as a result, suffered prolonged embarrassment at the hands of two teenagers and unnecessarily severe damage to its brand and international reputation.

Originality/value

By in‐depth analysis of a recent case, the paper underlines valuable lessons in terms of prompt management intervention, consistent strategy and effective apologia. It also illustrates the danger of poor management of a brand extension and the risk of contagion facing multinational organizations where adverse outcomes in one small regional market can rapidly damage a global reputation.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Tony Jaques

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the evolving role of religion in issue management and introduces a case in Malaysia to examine the emerging corporate risk when…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the evolving role of religion in issue management and introduces a case in Malaysia to examine the emerging corporate risk when western multinationals fall foul of the precepts of Islam.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper details events when Cadbury in Malaysia faced online rumours that its locally made chocolate was contaminated by porcine DNA and examines the corporate and community response in the context of issue management, international public relations, cross-cultural communication theory and apologia theory.

Findings

The case illustrates that for a multinational company doing business in a Muslim country, an issue response strategy must be based on sound local knowledge and understanding of the religious implications.

Practical implications

Although issues in the public arena frequently have a political and legal dimension, a religious element can make issue management even more challenging. Internationalisation of both business and issues has increased the profile of Islamic values, and the case shows the practical effectiveness of a calm and considered response in the face of extreme provocation.

Originality/value

While western public relations literature has highlighted cases of strongly held familiar Christian values driving issues onto the national issue management agenda, this paper identifies how Islamic precepts now represent an increasingly important consideration for modern risk and issue managers.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 November 2007

Tony Jaques

Modern managers are expected to deal with a wide range of problems – only some of which are properly defined as organizational issues. The purpose of this paper is to

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Abstract

Purpose

Modern managers are expected to deal with a wide range of problems – only some of which are properly defined as organizational issues. The purpose of this paper is to distinguish true issues from other day to day problems and to offer guidelines to a strategic approach for identifying and managing such issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper briefly introduces the established discipline of issue management with criteria and examples to illustrate how issues differ from general business problems. Six key guidelines are then introduced to ensure that organizational responses to issues are focused on a single objective, which is aligned with overall strategy, which addresses the issue in a manner which is clear, unambiguous and easily communicated, and which has proper support from top management.

Findings

It is too easy to develop an issue response which simply meets the need for action or which assigns responsibility solely to the public affairs or communication function. To be effective issue management requires a cross‐functional approach aligned to organizational strategy and with hands‐on commitment by the managers most directly impacted.

Originality/value

By exploring the vital link between issue management and strategic planning the paper demonstrates that issue management must directly involve line managers and offers practical guidelines for how managers can positively influence setting strategic objectives to deliver bottom line results.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Tony Jaques

The purpose of this paper is to encourage understanding of the practical value to managers and communication practitioners of the positive lessons from issue and crisis…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to encourage understanding of the practical value to managers and communication practitioners of the positive lessons from issue and crisis management cases.

Design/methodology/approach

Unlike many other areas of management writing, which focus on new approaches and best practice, issue and crisis management cases often highlight “PR disasters” where other managers may simply count themselves lucky that it happened to someone else. This paper uses well known examples to explore the reasons for this focus on failure and proposes ways for managers to move beyond schadenfreude to secure genuine learning and competitive advantage from the adverse experiences of others.

Findings

Whereas many industry “award winning” cases are self‐serving and prone to wisdom after the event, there is a growing body of authoritative case‐books and other material which can provide useful evaluation and benchmarking for an organization's own activity, both internal and external.

Originality/value

While academics and their students are familiar with the use of communication case analysis, this paper explores the range of published case study resources for practitioners and other managers who may be less aware of what is currently available and how independent analysis and insight can help facilitate effective performance against accountability.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2011

Tony Jaques

This paper aims to take a 20‐year perspective to revisit the Alar controversy, one of the most hotly argued public issues of the late 1980s, and to explore what fresh…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to take a 20‐year perspective to revisit the Alar controversy, one of the most hotly argued public issues of the late 1980s, and to explore what fresh conclusions can be drawn for modern risk and issue managers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews contemporary reports and analysis, along with subsequent retrospective opinions from some key participants and commentators, and examines those conclusions in the context of current communication practice.

Findings

The Alar case triggered a major reassessment of risk communication and the role of activists and the news media in amplifying issues. But even today some facts of the case remain in dispute and some of the purported lessons have been blurred by history or appear to have had little lasting impact.

Practical implications

Issue managers increasingly find themselves defending reputation in the face of public issues which focus on scientific uncertainty, and the Alar case provides vivid examples of both what to do and what not to do.

Originality/value

While most scholarship on the case discusses the implications for scientists, regulators and journalists, this paper throws fresh light on the case from the corporate perspective of the manufacturer of Alar, and the apple growers who found themselves in the eye of the storm.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Tony Jaques

The purpose of this paper is to characterize commonalities between activists and corporate communicators, who are often perceived as natural antagonists within the context…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to characterize commonalities between activists and corporate communicators, who are often perceived as natural antagonists within the context of managing public and community issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The focus is on exploring the innovative “rules” developed three decades ago by the Activist Pioneer Saul Alinksy and how his work has close parallels both with modern activism and corporate issue management. The paper cites modern sets of “rules” on both sides of the debate, highlighting common themes, and examines three recent developments which have impacted the nature of the relationship between contending parties.

Findings

While communication technology including the internet has helped level the power imbalance between the “haves” and the “have nots,” change within activism – such as growing professionalism, the emergence of formalized stakeholder participation, and a growing acceptance of constructive engagement – has further drawn both parties increasingly onto common ground.

Originality/value

Convergence between the tools and techniques of activism and business disciplines such as issue management has gone largely unrecognized. This paper characterizes that convergence and suggests that increasing understanding of the trend will enhance opportunities for a mutual gains approach.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

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