The structure of man-made organizational crises. Conceptual and empirical issues in the development of a general theory of crisis management

Ian I. Mitroff, Terry C. Pauchant, Paul Shrivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Analyses of a nationwide questionnaire sent to the public affairs officers of the Fortune 1,000 corporations reveals that the crises their organizations experienced in the last three years and the preventative actions they are undertaking to blunt potential crises cluster together in a relatively small number of distinct factors or families. The differences in the factor scores between those organizations with a crisis management unit (CMU) and those without one are statistically significant. The paper suggests that organizations would do well to consider forming dual crisis portfolios: one made up of a set of preventative actions drawn from the action clusters and another composed of a set of crises drawn from the crisis clusters. In this way, organizations could not only begin to insure themselves with minimal coverage across a broad family of crises, but they could also add a significant component of needed rationalization to their CM programs. The paper discusses the broad implications of the results for an emerging general theory of CM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-107
Number of pages25
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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