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Digging Deeper: Crisis Management in the Coal Industry

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This study explores crisis management/communication practices within the coal industry through the lens of high reliability organization (HRO) concepts and sensemaking theory. In-depth interviews with industry executives and an analysis of an emergency procedures manual were used to provide an exploratory examination of the status of crisis management within this industry, a context in which crisis management/communication may be viewed as an opportunity to improve existing negative perceptions or generate more favorable attitudes among stakeholders. Findings suggest that although companies place great emphasis on the technical response to a crisis, the lack of crisis communication components in overall planning strategies prevents some companies from being able to adequately respond to a crisis situation.

Keywords: Coal Mining; Crisis Communication; Crisis Management; High Reliability Organizations (HRO); Sensemaking Theory

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2009


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