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The crisis with no name: Defining the interplay of culture, ethnicity, and race on organizational issues and media outcomes

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This study is the first to provide best practices exclusively for communication about crises that involve issues of culture, ethnicity, and/or race from expert crisis managers' perspectives. Using complexity theory as a framework, this study provides an in-depth, theoretically grounded understanding of managing issues and crises involving culture, ethnicity and/or race through the experiences of 34 senior crisis communicators. Complex insider perspectives suggest that responsibility for crisis management must move beyond any managerial bias to become more organic, normative, inclusive, and community spirited. First, issues and crises involving culture, ethnicity, and/or race are defined, laying a foundation for future theory development on ways these issues can become or exacerbate crises. Second, research participants’ stories coalesce to produce best practices and a useful decision-making framework for practical application in organizations.

Keywords: Complexity Theory; Crisis Communication; Crisis Management; Emotional Intelligence; Relational Management

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2012


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