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Crisis Leadership: Planning for the Unthinkable

ISBN: 978-0-471-78288-9
144 pages
July 2005, ©2004
Crisis Leadership: Planning for the Unthinkable (0471782882) cover image


From product defects to environmental disasters—almost every day a new corporate crisis hits the headlines. In the majority of cases the results are disastrous: costly and time-consuming efforts to establish a positive public image can be wiped out in seconds. The inadequate, and often damaging, response of American business to such adversity proves that we don’t need better crisis management—we need crisis leadership. Ian Mitroff offers a new proactive approach that focuses on doing everything humanly possible to prevent crisis before they happen, rather than merely putting the best possible spin on the aftermath. In easy-to-read, accessible language, Mitroff presents the critical, key lessons that will help managers lead the organization through a major crisis.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction—People, Technologies, and Crisis.

Chapter 2. The Failure of Conventional Thinking.

Chapter 3. The Failure of Conventional Organizations.

Chapter 4. The Failure of Conventional Responses.

Chapter 5. The Rise of Abnormal Accidents: A Brief History of Crises.

Chapter 6. The Different Languages of Managers and Executives: The Personalities of Individuals.

Chapter 7. The Personalities of Organizations.

Chapter 8. Crisis Leadership and the Myers-Briggs.

Chapter 9. The Role of Conflict in Crisis Leadership.

Chapter 10. An Expanded View of Signal Detection.

Chapter 11. Thinking the Absurd.

Chapter 12. The Vital Importance of Spirituality in Crisis Leadership.


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Author Information

Dr. Ian I. Mitroff is currently the Harold Quinton Distinguished Professor of Business Policy at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. He is also the Director of the USC Center for Strategic Public Relations and a Professor of Journalism in the Annenberg School of Communications at USC. Dr. Mitroff founded Comprehensive Crisis Management, Inc., which has consulted some of the nation’s leading companies on a broad array of crises. He has also published over three hundred articles and more than twenty-three books.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • The text presents a systematic, behavioral model that underlies crisis management, showing which personality functions are required for managing and preparing for major crises.
  • The book discusses the extreme importance of Emotional IQ in handling, responding, and preparing for any crisis.
  • Crisis Leadership presents the findings from new national surveys and new concrete, easy-to-understand models for implementing programs of proactive leadership.
  • The combination of models—including a comprehensive look at what happens before, during, and after a crisis—creates a truly integrated and systematic approach.

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