This assignment is related to Learning Outcomes 1, 2 and 4.
Write an essay reflecting on your personal learning experiences in this paper, drawing on the theoretical material and examples in the assigned readings (using APA referencing) and your own understanding of events that have occurred in the past. You are also encouraged to provide examples from your own experiences or the experiences of others in organisations.
This is a reflective essay in which you will consider how your learning in this paper has developed your own understanding of issues and crisis management in an organisation. It is important that you discuss the need for issues management and how environmental scanning can contribute to an organisation’s ability to foresee and plan for crisis; identify how organisational culture contributes to the way organisations might deal with issues and crisis management; and how you think you would act/behave in a managerial capacity in terms of issues and crisis management.
1.Coombs, W. T., 7 Holladay, S.J. (2010). PR strategy and application: Managing influence. (pp. 217-235). Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell.
2. Coombs, W. T., (1999) Ongoing Crisis communication: Planning, managing, and responding (pp. 17-37). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
LENGTH: 1,750 words maximum
Reflective Essay Marking Rubric
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DATE: 13TH JULY 2012
TOPIC: REFLECTIVE ESSAY
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Crisis management is the crucial topic of attention in the organization. Through crisis, the organizations refers to pandemics, terrorist bombings, and large-scale blackouts, natural disasters such as, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Through my learning, I have learned that Crisis and issues often occur in the organization when organizational board and management concern about the production deadlines, short/long term performance, and operational issues instead planning for crisis management programs (Adler, 1996).
From my personal learning, I can say that crisis management has shifted from an underdeveloped and set of policy issues into the high position of officials, mass-media, politicians, and academia.
Through this shift crisis managers are working towards extensive investments in pre-crisis planning, high-tech intelligence, and crisis agency government structure. I explore that despite time consuming, costly, and resource intensive efforts, organizational real life experiences of crisis, and resource intensive efforts, officials, politicians, and organizations fail to meet the demands of public when crisis strikes.
I have personally experienced the crisis while working in an Exxon Valdez. In the year, 1989 employees of Exxon were stigmatized and experience the shame for working with such a huge company that does not care for the environment. I experienced the 11 millions gallons oil spilled into the Alaska’s Prince Willam Sound. This was one of the biggest disasters in the history of United States. After this disaster I have to move to the Alaska where I worked for more weekly hours than the previous norms (Hore & Carrington, 2007).
From my personal experience I have learned the best way to manage a crisis is to prevent it by recognizing the warning signs. These signs show that a situation has the capacity to develop into a crisis. Through reading and personal experience I can say that virtually every business firm, especially crisis can be expected to occur on the horizon, presently that expect in full force or that has passed through the combination thereof.
Through the constant existence of crisis in the business world, I have learned that crisis can occur with no or little warning, anytime, and anywhere. Crisis can occur in every industry that is operating its business in national or international market. It is the reality that crisis looms in every organization; therefore, its vital that crisis managers should accept that and make a correct frame of mind accept the contention and formulate the advanced contingency plan, preparation, and relevant recognition so that there could be positive opportunity side to crisis.
Issue Management is not included in the rationale and strategies for responding proactively to learn during the monitoring process. Issue management is the gap between the organizational policies and expectations of stakeholders. Issues management, stakeholder’s relations and risk assessment contribute into the crisis scanning. According to me, crisis managers should integrate the three functions of the organization in the effective crisis scanning mechanism (Robert, 1997). In order to mitigate the issues, managers should have the understanding of sources to scan, how to gather information, and how to evaluate the information for potential of crisis.
Issues occur in every organization, but the main point is to resolve these issues for that environmental scanning is the better tool that is used for managing the issues. From my experience I learned that every organization must implement the issues management so that they could manage the potential image-damaging situations. Through issue management managers can easily track the issues and can resolve the problem. In my learning I came across the case of Nike recall 38,000 pairs of athletic shoes and then them to apologize to Muslims. As Nike has flame logo on basketball shoe that resemble the Arabic script for “Allah”. Therefore, one compliant can create the criticism for the organization and impact its goodwill in the market.
I think, managers should analyze the internal and external environment prevailing across the organizations, so that prevailing issues could be resolved. It is crucial from the side of manager that while collecting information about issues they should analyze whether the information contains prodromes (Blaikie, 1994). Managers should use two criteria for evaluating the issues: impact and likelihood. Through likelihood mangers would know about the probability of an issue, and through impact they could know how strong is issue can whether it could affect the operations and profits of the company.
Through the different papers I have gained the understanding about the importance of environmental scanning, which is a crucial element in identifying the risk areas. Corporate identifies the risk areas all across the organization that includes various issues and events that influence over the management priorities, performance, and achievement of organizational objectives.
I learned that environmental scanning includes scanning of both internal and external factors and risks through which trends and changes could be analyzed that are appropriate in giving the early warning of potential risks that affect the output (Chiles, 2001). I have the systematic approach for scanning the periphery, whenever I travel, I randomly select the book at the airport and read it from cover to cover; therefore, at every trip I learned something new and that helped me in viewing the world in a different manner.
Whatever I learned or regain the new ideas I try to implement in my organization, in order to get the best outcome. I believe that through widening the knowledge and thoughts we can mitigate many issues and prevent the crisis, this can be done through scanning the internal and external environment of the organizations. Internet is the best place for analyzing the environment, as internet comprises of a large pool of information that helps in coming at the results (Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 2000).
I learned that environment could be scan through brainstorming, surveys, and scenario planning, or it can also be analyzed through the performance reports, management information systems, and audit reports. Most of the organizations organized the surveys through the help of diverse groups of experts in order to identify the thoughts of potential future changes occurring in the environment and weave the diverse insights on demographic and technological shifts. Through surveys specific markets and firms can be easily analyzed. From different papers I have learned that environment scanning focus on the detecting the increasing issues, potential issues, and circumstances that determine the future of the organization.
In my organization information is providing the manger and that information is used for directing the management in preparing the future plans. This information is used for evaluating the strength and weakness of the organization in terms of the threats and opportunities. Through environment scanning information that is collected can be used for making decisions. I believe that as in present time fast changes are occurring in the market and in the emerging business practices it is possible for organizations to fall in the regulations, technology, and rising trends; therefore, environment scanning helps in reducing the possibility of blindsided. I learned that environmental scanning helps the various companies in gaining the knowledge about the possible influences from the external environment (Harvard Business Review, 2000).
Through reading the various papers and from personal experience I have understood that in today’s business environment robust, enterprise wide plan is needed for dealing with the unexpected crisis. In the crisis management reputation of the company, and brand along with the loyalty and trust of the stakeholders is the critical factors (Laye, 2002). Managers have the significant role in organizational sustainability for contributing in the tangible deliverables by including the safety, leadership development, security initiatives, and solid communication plans for supporting the crisis management.
Organization culture regularly monitors the nature and changes taking place in the external forces and how these focus impact the organization. According to my experience, there are many organizations that focus on mitigating and try to reduce the disaster in order to broaden the operational planning (Kotter & Heskett, 1992). Most of the organizations appoint the emergency managers that look for the external forces such as, new technologies, laws and regulations, and business requirements. Managers use recovery programs, approaches, and planning tools for mitigating the issues.
I analyze that organizations deal with the ambiguities and uncertainties by adapting the organization through the new and changing requirements. There are many organizations that deal with the day to day issues and even with the severe crisis. According to my experience many organizations use the different tools such as, warning signals, signs, and forecasting in order to deal with the crisis (Mileti, 1999). Organizations also provide training to the employees so that they could manage the situation at the time of crisis.
It is the responsibility of the manager to analyze the every possible situation and conduct the analysis for mitigating the various issues and occurring crisis within the organization. Through the organizational learning I have learned that there are many other tools for reducing the crisis situations such as, early warning signals, damage containment, business recovery, prevention, and organizational learning. It is important that every employee should be aware about these tools, and in creating awareness about the tool, it is the manager who is responsible (Boin, 2008).
I believe that organizations should look after the all the possible situations whether it is positive or negative in order to reduce the problematic situations. With the changing time, functions and responsibilities of the organization has increased that can create the changes of crisis to most likely occur. It is extremely crucial that organizations should mitigate the challenging situations so that each task of the company could be conducted in best possible manner.
Through the articles and papers I have learned that organizations should adopt the crisis management and issue management programs. Under these programs responsibilities should be diverted to the managers in order to conduct each task in the better manner. I have also learned about the environmental scanning which is the crucial tool used by the managers now a day in order to analyze the internal and external environment. I have also mentioned in the essay about some of my experiences and crisis in the organization, and though I have learned that organizations should analyze the environment across the company, and even broaden their thoughts so that they could be ready to face the challenges and move on with their activities in the challenging environment.
Adler, N. (1996). International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. Cincinnati:
Blaikie, P et al. (1994). At Risk. London: Routledge.
Chiles, J.R. (2001). Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the edge of technology. Harper
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). (2000). “Planning for a Sustainable
Future: The Link Between Hazard Mitigation and Livability”. Retreived July 15, 2012, from https://www.fema.gov/mit/planning_toc.htm
Harvard Business Review. (2000). Harvard Business Review on Crisis Management. Harvard Business School Press.
Laye, J. (2002). Avoiding Disaster: How to keep your business going when catastrophe strikes. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Kotter, J. & Heskett, J. (1992). Corporate Culture and Performance. New York: The Free Press.
Mileti, D. (1999). Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the
United States. Joseph Henry Press.
Boin, A. (2008). Crisis Management. Los Angeles. SAGE.
Hore, J. & Carrington, W. J. (2007). Labor Market effects of the Exxon Valdez Oil. The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy 11(1), 1-16.
Robert, L. H. (1997). Strategic issues management: Organizations and public policy challenges. UK: SAGE.