ERIC Number: ED203819
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Uses of Crisis: Taking the Tide at the Flood. ASHE Annual Meeting 1981 Paper.
Kerchner, Charles T.; Schuster, Jack H.
The management strategy of calling attention to problems and labeling them as crises is discussed as a method of coping with prolonged periods of shrinking resources. Part I, "Entering the Realm of Crisis," discusses the importance of defining a crisis, the crisis as an organizational good, and when to declare a crisis. Two types of crises are identified: (1) the manifest crisis, which is one readily apparent and whose menacing nature speaks for itself and commands attention and (2) the opaque crisis, which barely is visible, if at all, and often reflects a chronic problem which, while weighty, does not dramatize itself. Part II, "Six Cases of Response to Organizational Adversity," examines the experiences of the following: Flagship University; Rockroad Community College; Industrial City High School District; State Board of Higher Education; and Hillside State College. Part III, "The Rules of Crisis Management," offers five conclusions: (1) effective declaration of a crisis is contingent on the credibility of an institution's management and perception; (2) a declaration of a crisis, to be successful, must lead to substantial benefit to the organization; (3) the declaration of a crisis should be highly visible and unequivocable; (4) after the crisis is declared it must be managed conspicuously; and (5) the crisis needs to be terminated. Several management tactics employable for crisis termination are illustrated in the case examples, such as: deriving strength from weakness by binding oneself to a future that would be distasteful to the institution if allowed to take place; to make use of an interviewing outside party to dramatize the seriousness of the problem; and to make use of a crisis council. References are provided. (LC)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting; Crisis Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Washington, DC, March 1981).