University News
For Immediate Release: 
Apr 08 2002

Concord Professor Publishes Crisis Management Article

Athens, W.Va. - The December issue of Journal of Business in Developing Nations contained an article published by Dr. Rick Crandall, professor of business at Concord College and his colleague, Dr. Jack Spillan, a professor at Penn State University-Dubois. The article, "Crisis Planning Among Guatemalan Small Businesses: The Assessment of Worst-Case Scenarios," dealt with the importance of crisis management concepts in different countries.

The project took over a year and a half to complete with Dr. Spillan travelling to Guatemala during the summer of 2000 to collect research while Dr. Crandall handled most of the writing chores.

Crisis management is a fairly young concept in business that deals with the task of identifying potential crisis events and then designing plans to manage the crisis or possibly enact measures to prevent crises. The researchers divided crisis events into five categories: operational crises, publicity problems, fraudulent activities, natural disasters, and legal crises. In Guatemala, the top concerns are embezzlement by employees, theft or disappearance of records, a major industrial accident, death of a key executive, theft of company property, and asset misappropriation directly or indirectly for employee’s benefit.

There is a strong correlation between those events that management expresses concerned about and their occurrences. Even with a strong correlation between concern and actual crisis events, 90.6% of businesses in Guatemala do not have a crisis management team.

The findings of this research have important managerial implications. When developing strategies for achieving business goals, managers need to think about the obstacles that will obstruct or constrain the achievement of the goals. Crises that are not planned for or poorly managed become major obstructions and constraints to achieving business goals. In order to become more prepared for an emergency situation it is clear that managers need to think about assembling a crisis management team, planning for worst-case scenarios, formulating a crisis management plan, and upgrading and changing whenever it’s necessary.

Crandall has worked in this field for twelve years and says the experience of publishing the article has been "very rewarding." He also stated that he "likes bringing his field of expertise into the classroom."

Dr. Crandall is available to present the findings of his research to civic or community organizations. For more information contact Dr. Rick Crandall at 1-384-304-5247 or rickc@concord.edu

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Concord College Notes: Jessica Taylor, a student in Concord College’s English Department wrote this press release. Her hometown is Beckley, W.Va. She is majoring in English/writing with a minor in journalism. Her anticipated graduation date is May 2003.

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