Organizational Communications And Decision Making In Crises

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Disaster Research Center
The primary focus of this study is to focus on the response of organizations to crisis. Organizations are the primary social units which respond to major crisis, whether at the community, national or international level. In particular, two major areas of organizational functioning are singled out for attention --decision making and communication. Both of these areas point to a range of behavior rather than to a single entity. Decision making involves the consideration of alternative outcomes, setting goals, deciding on means to chosen ends, etc. One important element in the present study is that decision making is viewed in an environment which is uncertain. The very notion of crisis implies uncertainty. In this context of uncertainty, organizations have to make decisions as to the allocation of resources for the accomplishment of goals. An integral part of the decision making process is communications, a process through which an organization sends a signal or message over a channel to another part of the organization (intraorganizational) or to another organization (interorganizational). The parts which are linked in this process create a communication structure. Obviously, communication is an essential part of the decision making process. The intent of the study is to use the cumulative research of DRC to build a set of propositions concerning organizational decision making communication. Outline of the Report Chapter 11 indicates the sources of materials covered in developing the propositions. Chapter III discusses the types of propositions which were developed. (A complete list is found in the Appendix.) Chapter IV discusses a reconceptualization of organized behavior in disaster which allows the propositions to be placed in a more realistic context. Chapter V provides a conclusion.
Organizational Communications, Decision Making, Crises