Entering new territory: A study of internal crisis management and crisis communication in organizations
Publication Year: 2012
The aim of this paper is to present and discuss some of the main findings from a large survey of internal crisis management and crisis communication conducted in the spring of 2011 among public and private organizations in Denmark (the ICMCC survey). The survey was conducted among the 367 largest private companies (selected from DK 1000, established by Børsen business magasin) and among 98 public organizations (municipalities). The overall goal was to get a preliminary idea of how these companies or organizations perceive, plan, coordinate and implement internal crisis management and crisis communication activities before, during and after a crisis. The survey questionnaire comprised 36 questions and was sent to respondents who typically are responsible for the crisis-preparedness of their organizations. The results from the survey show that the vast majority of organizations have a crisis or contingency plan, and most of these plans contain an internal dimension relating to the management and communication with the internal stakeholders during a crisis. Thus, the study shows a rather professional and formalized behavior towards crisis management in general, but also when it comes to managing a crisis in relation to the internal organizational stakeholders in specific. In addition, the results clearly indicate a strong relation between organizational size and crisis management; the larger the organization the more likely to have a crisis plan. This particularly pertained to the private organizations. The ICMCC survey forms part of a major collaborative research project, financed by the Danish Council for Independent Research/Social Sciences (2011–2014), entitled Internal Crisis Management and Crisis Communication in Danish Organizations. The purpose of this three-year long project is to shed light upon the role of internal crisis management and crisis communication before, during and after an organizational crisis and/or a societal crisis leading to downsizing or major changes within an organization or an organizational field.