Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

Applying Knowledge Management Principles to Enhance Crisis Planning Efforts

Dr. Michelle Hough, Dr John Spillan.

Managers in the post-September 11 world are increasingly recognizing the value of organizational crisis planning efforts. Related to September 11, 2001, the American Management Association (AMA) surveys member and customer organizations on crisis management and security issues. The 2003 results show significant increases over 2002 in the number of companies which utilize crisis management teams (62%), have plans (64%), conduct drills or simulations (42%) and train employees in crisis management skills (39%).
Recognizing the importance of crisis planning, however, does not necessarily equate to knowing how to avoid crises or how to minimize the impact of those which are unavoidable. Good crisis planning includes forming a team of crisis management experts, detecting pre-crisis symptoms and conducting vulnerability analyses, creating a communication mechanism to deliver expert knowledge to first-responders, training personnel to be vigilant, prepared, responsive, and flexible in changing environments, and continuously evaluating both response to and avoidance of crises as well as the planning process itself.
Each of these activities requires significant mining of organizational knowledge, and the difficulty of extracting, explicating, organizing, and presenting such knowledge can seriously impede crisis planning efforts. Tiwana’s 2000 work proposes a four-phase framework for building a comprehensive knowledge management (KM) system including Phase I: Infrastructure evaluation; Phase II: KM system analysis, design, and development; Phase III: Deployment; and Phase IV: Evaluation. In this paper we apply the four-phase KM framework toward enhancing crisis planning efforts and evaluate issues of comprehensiveness, practicality, capital investment, and scalability.


Dr. Michelle Hough  (United States)
Assistant Professor of Business
McKeesport Campus, The Commonwealth College
The Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Michelle Hough is an Assistant Professor of Business at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests are contemporary management issues, including crisis planning, and social issues relating to the diffusion of technology.

Dr John Spillan  (United States)

The Pennsylvania State University

  • Crisis Planning
  • Knowledge Management

(Virtual Presentation, English)