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Designs for Crisis Decision Units

Carolyne Smart and Ilan Vertinsky
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 22, No. 4 (Dec., 1977), pp. 640-657
DOI: 10.2307/2392406
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2392406
Page Count: 18
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Abstract

Key decisions in crises are often made by a small, tightly knit group of individuals. This group, facing the need for quick and short realigments of problem-solving procedures and mobilization of resources, experiences a high level of emotional and physical stress. Stress, surprise, restricted amount of time for response, and threats to high-priority goals characterize a crisis situation (Hermann, 1972). Unfortunately these attributes of crisis make the decision-making and implementation processes vulnerable to malfunctions. This paper develops a conceptual model of the crisis-decision process, focusing on links susceptible to emergence of pathologies and proposes preventive measures to increase the coping abilities of decision units.

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