Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Boston University's Otto Lerbinger The Crisis Manager, Facing risk and Responsibility

Managing during instability and unpredictability.TITLE: The Crisis Manger, Facing risk and Responsibility
AUTHOR: Otto Lerbinger
PUBLISHER: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, publishers
GENRE: Non-Fiction
PAGES: 384
REVIEWER: Manuel Odeny

Crisis is a daily part of business and form an integral part of business management. A manager’s true management skills are observed during a crisis.

When workers, suppliers, share holders and customers may react to a crisis in an explosive, fixing the problem and not finding a solution way: the manager has to stay cool, calm and collected. Giving a solution and charter a direction out of the crisis.

Otto Lerbinger is well placed on discussing crisis management. A lecturer at Boston University of managing co-operate crisis and issues, he used notes and reports from thesis and research to comply the book.

The book is divided in three parts: communication in era of crisis; Managing seven types of crisis and lastly improving management performance.

On the first part the author help manager to identify crisis and how to plan and prepare for a crisis. Finally, in case of a crisis, how to communicate during and after the crisis. Tips are given on how to deal and communicate with the mass media in event of a crisis.

Detailed; in 1994 internet and media pressure forced the Silicon Valley Intel to recognize and own up that their Pentium chip caused error in complex mathematical calculation. The error was found by a mathematician. Intel knew of the error but assumed and released the chip to the market.

In managing the seven types of crisis in part two, the author outlines how to effectively manage a crisis before, during and after an occurrence. The seven crises are Natural, technological, confrontation, crisis of malevolence, crisis of skewed management value, crisis of deception and finally the crisis of management misconduct.

Finally on the final part of improving management performance the author help mangers to manage risk and communicate to the public by gauging public attitude, perception of risk and how they will react.

Worth to note is the author’s analysis on the thorny issue of ethics and moral conduct of executive when dealing with the public about a crisis.

The book adds value and helps in smooth management skills. A leader’s action and reaction during a crisis speaks volume about his leadership skills.

Current US president Barack Hussein Obama has proved effective in crisis management skills. Obama is an analyzer-in-chief than a fire band when dealing with crisis. The little known senator went ahead and clich├ęd the democratic nomination and the US presidency.

The rest is put to reat as history. Political analyst, allies and foes say he ahs the uncanny ability to walk through a storm unruffled. Obama is the kind of a leader you would want on a fox hole with you in time of a crisis.

Just another skinny kid from down south with a funny name Hussein (like American’s number one public enemy Saddam Hussein) or Obama (which was pronounced, mischievously as Osama). He slide through the campaign against a lot of mud sling.

The book The Crisis Manger, Facing risk and Responsibility could fit best in an academic library than office shelves. Its writing style and research can easily help scholars and student in writing reports, essays and research for their classes. Being a university lecturer, the author, is not in touch (perhaps) with the cooperate world making the book good for academy.

In acknowledgment Otto Lerbinger says he got his inspiration from students whose reports, notes and thesis have helped enrich the case studies.

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