برنامهریزی مدیریت بحران و تهدید بیوتروریسم
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|26114||2003||10 صفحه PDF||12 صفحه WORD|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Public Relations Review, Volume 29, Issue 3, September 2003, Pages 281–290
With acts of bioterrorism increasingly garnering attention worldwide, the subject of crisis preparedness for organizations takes on added meaning. This study of 72 of Michigan’s largest corporations found that 70% of those surveyed had crisis management plans in place, but only 12% had plans that specifically dealt with bioterrorism. Awareness of bioterrorism, perceived seriousness and controllability, and perceived susceptibility were significant and positive predictors of willingness to develop a crisis management plan. This snapshot of crisis communication preparedness was taken during a critical time in American history—immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and during the first reports of a death in the United States from an anthrax attack.
The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States reminded citizens and communications professionals alike that crisis preparedness needs to be of high priority for organizations of all types. Subsequent incidents involving anthrax bacteria only served to heighten the sense of urgency. Government officials rushed to reassure publics that the situation, while serious, was being addressed. Undoubtedly, in many corporations and other organizations around the country, discussions were hastily convened on grimly realistic topics that heretofore had been considered little more than science fiction. The current study of crisis preparedness for bioterrorism incidents was readied for the field prior to the September 11th incidents. Pretests were conducted September 10th and actual data collection was to begin the morning of September 11th (but was intentionally embargoed until two days later). The original purpose of this study was to determine predictors of corporate crisis management planning in general. But given the timing of the study, a second purpose of this study is to provide a snapshot of corporate crisis preparedness during a critical period of time in American history when bioterrorism moved from the realm of science fiction to the reality of everyday life.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The threat of bioterrorism has existed since the days of antiquity, dating back to the poisoning of community water supplies in ancient times and more recently manifested in the 1983 Oregon salmonella attack and the 2001 U.S. anthrax attacks. Nevertheless, little contingency planning for dealing with bioterrorism had, at the time of this survey, been undertaken either separately or collectively by the many public and private organizations that in one way or another might be confronted with the daunting task of dealing with such an attack. According to this study, 70% of those interviewed say their companies have crisis management plans in place, but only 12% specifically deal with bioterrorism. Seventy percent say their corporations are not prepared for the threat of bioterrorism, and yet more than 90% acknowledge that a bioterrorism act could have “severe consequences” for their corporation. These results raise significant public health concerns and cast doubt on the readiness of corporations to deal with the threat of bioterrorism. Of equal concern is the generally low level of knowledge about bioterrorism among corporate respondents who likely are responsible for developing crisis management plans. Forty-four percent of the respondents associated bioterrorism with chemicals, thus demonstrating confusion that could have drastic implications for a corporation under attack. Biological weapons are literally living organisms that possess the potential to mutate and hence are more volatile and less predictable in a crisis situation. As well, lack of familiarity with previous biological attacks in the United States is of concern. Prior cases of attacks and organizational responses provide important lessons for similar attacks in the future. The results show that awareness of bioterrorism, perceived seriousness and perceived controllability are consistent and significant predictors of willingness to develop a crisis management plan for bioterrorism incidents. These results suggest the need for, and potential value of, educational programs to counsel corporate strategic planners on the topic of bioterrorism. To this end, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided a potentially useful blueprint for a crisis plan that addresses the threat of bioterrorism, a resource that strategic planners may find of interest. Given the timing of this study, a potential limitation could be a history effect attributable to asking people about bioterrorism in the context of public hysteria about terrorism. We have already seen, for example, that awareness of bioterrorism increased over the period of the data collection. To examine if the timing of this study affected other key variables, mean changes in perceived vulnerability, perceived seriousness, and perceived controllability were examined through data collection periods. No significant mean changes in these variables during the data collection were found, thereby suggesting that no history effect occurred. But beyond this methodological footnote, this finding also demonstrates how awareness of a risk can increase without concomitant increases in perceived vulnerability and seriousness. Clearly, publicity about risk is not enough in and of itself to spur preventive action. In many ways, the anthrax attack of October 2001 was a wake-up call to corporate America, the first exposure many public relations practitioners have ever had to the threat of bioterrorism. Based on the results of this study, much work is needed in order to protect the interests of large and small, public and private corporations—and the constituencies they serve—in this new and emerging era of terrorism.