Transforming Crisis Management into Actual Analysis

4. 4. 2023

Crisis management is essential for organizations to identify and manage risks, including natural disasters, biological and technological hazards, and organizational failures. Crisis management maturity refers to the varying levels of skillfulness used to manage a crisis, and is divided into three phases: pre-crisis, crisis response, and post-crisis. Crisis management strategies aim to position organizations to withstand crises, assess mission, weaknesses, and potential threats, and build a crisis strategy. A-Hospital has developed pandemic response plans to protect the health, well-being, and prosperity of Qatar's people.

Overall, the paper provides a comprehensive overview of crisis management, including its definition, types, and importance for organizations. It highlights the critical role of crisis management in maintaining an organization's reputation, financial position, and public safety. However, due to the wide variety of literature on crisis management, it has been challenging to finalize this paper.

Crisis Definition

A crisis is defined as an unplanned event that can lead to significant unrest within an organization, which can cause fear and uncertainty among employees and impact the company's reputation, financial position, and public safety (Heide & Simonsson, 2019). The text also explains that crises can be categorized into different types, including natural disasters, biological and technological hazards, and those caused by organizational failures (IFRC,2022).  

Crisis Management Process Concept

 Crisis management is critical for any organization and public relations professionals play a vital role in helping organizations manage their crises (Heide & Simonsson,2019). Crisis management is an essential process for organizations to identify and manage risks that can impact their operations (IFRC,2022).

The crisis management process involves identifying and managing the effects of sudden changes on the organization and its employees. The process includes coordinating with various departments to overcome emergencies, minimizing the damage done to an organization and its stakeholders, and responding quickly and effectively to changes within the organization (Joshi,2021). The paper emphasizes that failure to manage crises can have severe consequences for an organization.

Crisis management maturity refers to the varying levels of skillfulness used to manage a crisis, and it can be reactive or proactive (Marker,2022). Crisis management involves working with a broad range of stakeholders and requires leaders to accept responsibility for the incident and provide necessary information to victims (Coombs, 2006).

Crisis Management Models

The four-stage crisis model outlined by Steven Fink includes the acute, chronic, prodromal, and resolution stages (Fink,1986),  while Mitroffs five-stage crisis management model focuses on identifying and preventing crises, monitoring and managing their signals, containment, recovery, and learning (Mitroff,1994). The incident command system comprises five broad areas, including logistics and operations, and has a hierarchy of responsibilities and roles for key players (Marker,2020).

Crisis Management Phases

The crisis management process can be divided into three phases: the pre-crisis, the crisis response, and the post-crisis. The pre-crisis phase focuses on preparing for the event and preventing it from happening, and it involves identifying and preventing potential crises, developing a crisis management strategy, and implementing procedures to minimize the crisis's impact. The crisis phase requires immediate action, validating information, and developing quick and effective solutions. In the post-crisis phase, the organization should continue the reputation repair process and communicate progress through various means, such as an intranet or mass notification systems. Proper communication skills are crucial during a crisis to avoid further damage to the organization's reputation (Heide & Simonsson,2019).

Crisis Management Plan

Any organization should follow guidelines for developing a crisis management plan (Coombs,2014). A company should have a designated team trained in crisis management and conduct regular exercises to test the plan. Crisis management messages should also be drafted in advance. With the rise of social media, all stories are now global, and organizations should consider different cultures and media in different markets. A crisis management plan should be a set of procedures that a company can use to prepare its organization for emergencies (Coombs, 2014). A crisis management team should involve leaders and stakeholders, consider various problems and provide realistic solutions to solve the organization's reputation and name-saving objectives.

Disaster Management Theories

The paper also describes disaster management theories, including structural functions systems theory, diffusion of innovation theory, and unequal human capital theory (Marker,2020)

The paper emphasizes that a crisis should be considered a learning experience, evaluated, and used to identify improvement areas to improve response, prevention, and preparation (Hemus,2010). The management team must be able to manage a crisis effectively and minimize the damage it can do to the organization's business.

Crisis management strategies

Finally, the paper provides insights on training for crisis management, effective leadership during crises, crisis management strategies, and building a crisis strategy. A crisis management team's duties include planning and implementing PR strategies, organizing events, and maintaining relationships with stakeholders (Marker,2020). Before a crisis, potential spokespersons must be trained to handle the media. During a crisis, leaders must focus on giving crucial information to the public. Effective crisis management leadership can help achieve the goals of guaranteeing the rights of all individuals, delivering equitable services, and moving toward full inclusion (Quin et al., 2011). Crisis management strategies aim to position organizations to withstand crises, and their objective is to identify systems and capacities supporting anti-crisis plans. To build a crisis strategy, the executive management team should assess the organization's mission, weaknesses, and potential threats. An effective crisis strategy involves performing a comprehensive assessment of vulnerabilities, analyzing risks, setting realistic goals, and forming a crisis management team with expertise in crisis management (Marker, 2022). 

Anti-crisis management in A-Hospital during COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for healthcare professionals worldwide, including those at A-Hospital. Managing the crisis has increased costs significantly, and postponed procedures have made managing finances challenging. Flexible operational solutions have been identified as key to improving the quality of care. A robust crisis management strategy is needed, which includes implementing stricter staffing requirements, optimizing funding allocations, and ensuring necessary supplies. Mental health support has also been provided to frontline staff. A-Hospital has developed pandemic response plans as part of a resilient framework to ensure vital services can operate seamlessly during significant disruptions. The plans set out A-Hospital's response to COVID-19 and are designed to protect the health, well-being, and prosperity of Qatar's people. A comprehensive communications plan has been developed to reach all stakeholders affected by the outbreak. Performance against several operational key performance indicators will be measured to assess and monitor A-Hospital's response to COVID-19. The response is divided into four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, which are implemented depending on the nature of the incident and associated escalation level (A-Hospital, 2022). The Platinum Level Command Structure is implemented by the Corporation Executive Team only upon declaration of a LEVEL 2 or LEVEL 3 Major Incident. All commands should be executed using the A-Hospital-approved decision-making model. The objective of the crisis management team is to ensure that plans are in place and that A-Hospital is ready to respond to the situation.



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Author: Fadia Ali, student LIGS University
Co-Author: Vladimir Biruk, lecturer LIGS University
Approved by: Dr. Darren Fisher, lecturer LIGS University

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