1. What’s your reaction to this story? What does it illustrate about decision making? With the vast sums of money invested into large projects like the Eurotunnel (approximately £9.5bn), it amazes observers that important information (i.e. the affect of the cold weather) would not be considered beforehand. However, this situation is fairly common in projects that use groundbreaking technologies in extreme environments. These types of projects occur under conditions of uncertainty and great risk. It is common for these projects to experience unexpected ‘hiccups.’ The best case scenario in these types of projects is to plan as to avoid life threatening catastrophes and to have contingencies plans in case of emergencies. 2. How could the decision-making process have helped in both the response to the crisis situation and in preventing it from happening? Better planning is always suggested after the fact. Consideration of the effects of extreme weather could have been made part of the testing of the train and track equipment before it was put into use. While the situation was developing, emergency plans should have been in place to deal with a possible breakdown and better communication equipment made available. Eurostar should have been clued into possible problems when other forms of transportation broke down during the extreme weather. It is important to note that Eurostar did take the necessary actions after the incident to correct communication problems and retrofit train equipment. 3. Could procedures, policies, and rules play any role in future crisis situations like this one? If so, how? If not, why not? Students may not be aware that most companies have plans for dealing with emergencies. Airlines are a good example of firms that practice risk management. These firms develop contingency plans for minor and worse case scenarios. Employees are trained in how to handle emergencies and backup/emergency equipment is distributed...
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