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Organizational and Institutional Crisis Management

This article offers a typology for organizational and institutional crisis management that portrays three sorts of crises: a crisis in an organization, a crisis to the organization and a crisis about the organization.

Sanneke Kuipers & Jeroen Wolbers
25 March 2021
Organizational and Institutional Crisis Management

A crisis in an organization occurs when an immediate threat or incident, confined to the organization itself, completely upsets organizational performance. These crises, often identified by the organization’s name (e.g., BP oil spill), involve a combination of functional and political crisis management. Functional crisis management processes are aimed at containing the direct effects of the crisis, whereas political crisis management encompass dealing with managing the reputational effects and/or accountability. The discussion of the chemical plant disaster in Bhopal illustrated how the response was initially characterized by functional crisis management, and (even years later) the crisis required extensive political interventions to cope with accountability claims.

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