Exploring Neglected Terrain: Communication with Employees During Crises


Management and Entrepreneurship

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2007


80 male and 76 female MBA students (average age 28 yrs at the time of an organizational crisis) identified specific crisis situations they had experienced in their past organizational tenure. Their descriptions of 157 crises were content analyzed for crisis type, initial and ongoing communication channels and sources, and respondent preferences for communication strategies. Findings are consistent with research on effective external crisis communication. Ss expressed a strong preference for receiving timely information from their direct supervisors, but reported they frequently received first and ongoing information about an organizational crisis from some other source. This suggests organizational crisis communication plans should be expanded to include appropriate attention to communication methods and messages for internal stakeholders. Managerial implications are discussed.

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