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Crisis Management

The identification of threats to an organization and its stakeholders, and the methods used by the organization to deal with these threats. Due to the unpredictability of global events, organizations must be able to cope with the potential for drastic changes to the way they conduct business. Crisis management often requires decisions to be made within a short time frame, and often after an event has already taken place. In order to reduce uncertainty in the event of a crisis, organizations often create a crisis management plan.

Unlike risk management, which involves planning for events that might occur in the future, crisis management involves reacting to an event once it has occurred. An oil company for example, may have a plan in place to deal with the possibility of an oil spill, but if such a disaster actually occurs, the magnitude of the spill, the backlash of public opinion and the cost of cleanup can vary greatly and may exceed expectations.

Three elements are common to a crisis: (a) a threat to the organization, (b) the element of surprise, and (c) a short decision time. Venette argues that "crisis is a process of transformation where the old system can no longer be maintained." Therefore the fourth defining quality is the need for change. If change is not needed, the event could more accurately be described as a failure or incident.


In contrast to risk management, which involves assessing potential threats and finding the best ways to avoid those threats, crisis management involves dealing with threats before, during, and after they have occurred. It is a discipline within the broader context of management consisting of skills and techniques required to identify, assess, understand, and cope with a serious situation, especially from the moment it first occurs to the point that recovery procedures start.

Source : Webpage

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