ERIC Number: ED194971
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: N/A
Cyclone Tracy and the Darwin Educators: A Case in Crisis Management.
The story of successful crisis management teaches some lessons applicable not only to surmounting crises but to everyday management decisions as well. On Christmas eve, 1974, a cyclone demolished 90 percent of the city of Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory. As thousands gathered in neighborhood schools, a team of educational administrators took over the management of the evacuation of more than 25,000 people. A number of lessons was learned. One reason for success was that people gravitated to roles for which they possessed suitable skills and easily conceded their roles to a more expert person. A trouble shooter and a public relations officer were invaluable. Written messages were too slow to be useful. In order to accomplish the massive evacuation, a price had to be paid in bureaucratic untidiness and inconvenience. The success of this undertaking was credited to a number of factors, including (1) a firm and commonly shared objective, (2) a clear chain of command, (3) a high level of mutual trust, (4) high tolerance for fear and tension, (5) a desire by team members to contribute more than was minimally necessary, and (6) an ability to surmount an absence of the tools that help an organization to function, such as communication devices. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: Administrative Organization, Administrative Problems, Administrator Role, Communication (Thought Transfer), Credibility, Crisis Management, Foreign Countries, Informal Organization, Management Teams, Organizational Effectiveness, Power Structure, Role Perception
Not available separately; see EA 013 022.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: British Columbia Univ., Vancouver. Center for Continuing Education.
Note: Published in "Canadian and Comparative Educational Administration" (EA 013 022). Based on a paper presented at the International Intervisitation Program in Educational Administration (4th, Montreal and Vancouver, Canada, May 1980). For related documents, see EA 013 022-050.