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Best Practices for Effective Corporate Crisis Management: A Breakdown of Crisis Stages Through the Utilization of Case Studies

A Senior Project presented to The Faculty of the Journalism Department California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Bachelor of Science in Journalism

By Katelyn Smith March 2012

© Katelyn Smith 2012

 

Abstract In the most recent decade, there has been a shortage of effectively managed corporate crises. This study is meant to discover the reasons behind the ineffective crisis management responses through the inspection of past corporate case studies in crisis management, as well as what can be done to help corporations use crisis management more effectively. The best practices in effective corporate crisis management in the three different stages of a crisis were attained through the utilization of case studies and expert opinions. The recommendations for practice include making pre-planning and evaluation regarded as more important in crisis management plans, choosing the correct spokesperson, and involving leaders in every stage of crisis management. These recommendations, along with the other best practices divided into crisis stages, should be a helpful overview to educate a corporate crisis manager prior to a crisis, during a crisis, or after a crisis has occurred.

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1…………………………………………………………………………………1 Introduction………………………………………………………………………..1 Statement of the Problem………………………………………………….1 Background of the Problem……………………………………………….1 Purpose of the Study………………………………………………………2 Setting for the Study………………………………………………………2 Research Questions……………………………………………………..…3 Definition of Terms……………………………………………………..…3 Organization of Study……………………………………………………..5 Chapter 2…………………………………………………………………………………6 Literature Review. ……………………………………………………………….6 Dealing with Past Corporate Crises. …………………………………….6 Best Practices for Anticipating the Crisis………………………………..16 Best Practices for Addressing the Crisis…………………………………20 Best Practices for Dealing with the Aftermath of the Crisis……………..24 Chapter 3………………………………………………………………………………..27 Methodology……………………………………………………………………..27 Data Sources……………………………………………………………..27 Participants……………………………………………………….27 Interview Design….……………………………………………...27 Data Collection…………………………………………………………..28 Data Presentation………………………………………………………...28

 

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Delimitations……………………………………………………………..29 Limitations……………………………………………………………….29 Chapter 4…………………………………….………………………………………….30 Data Analysis….…………………………………………………………………30 Expert Biographies……………………………………………………….30 Corporate Crisis Management……………………………….......30 Emergency Management………………………………………...31 Crisis Communications...………………...………………............31 Effective Crisis Management Questionnaire…………………………….32 Effective Crisis Management Research Questions…................................38 Effective Crisis Management Data............................................................43 Chapter 5..........................................................................................................................54 Discussion and Recommendations…....................................................................54 Summary....................................................................................................54 Discussion..................................................................................................55 Recommendations for Practice..................................................................61 Pre-Planning and Evaluation Must Not be Neglected...................62 Select Good Representation...........................................................63 Leaders Should be Incorporated in Every Crisis Stage.................64 Study Conclusion.......................................................................................65...
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