Internal Crisis Communication: Crisis Awareness, Leadership and Coworkership, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Internal Crisis Communication

Crisis Awareness, Leadership and Coworkership, 1st Edition

By Mats Heide, Charlotte Simonsson


176 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138354074
pub: 2019-06-27
Available for pre-order

FREE Standard Shipping!


We live in a crisis society, with traditional media responding on a minute-by-minute basis on daily, seemingly inevitable, organizational crises. Whether crises have become more prevalent or we're simply more aware of them, they are now of great concern to organizations and crisis management and communication are a priority. Most organizations have a crisis response plan; many have dedicated crisis and security management staff. Yet much of the emphasis has been on action outside of the organization. Neglecting communication between managers and employees, they risk poor, inconsistent crisis management and the very real possibility of crisis escalation. Crisis management, like charity, begins in the home.

Internal Crisis Communication is one of the first guides to communication inside organizations, before, during and after a crisis–not just on the acute crisis phase, to provide a complete and holistic guide for managers that will help them manage and contain crises. It includes an in-depth real-life case study, referred to throughout, from the author's own experience, which makes practical application explicit and the methodology clear.

Strengthened by rigorous academic research and tested in real-life crisis situations, the methods included in this book will be invaluable for communication professionals, security officers and crisis managers, as well as valuable reading for students and researchers interested in crisis and risk management.

Table of Contents

About the authors, Foreword, Introduction, Large focus on the external perspective, The important internal perspective, Something exceptional or integrated into development? Case organization, Target group for the book, Chapters of the book, 1 Crises and communication, Crises, Organizations and Crises, Risks and crises, Why do crises occur? Crisis management, Overconfidence in crisis plans 31, Phases of a crisis and previous research in crisis communication, 2 Perspectives on crises and crisis communication, Perspectives in research, The narrow, information-oriented approach, The broad, meaning-oriented approach, Approaches in practice, The employees’ perspective, The formal perspective on crisis, 3 Internal crisis communication, What is internal crisis communication? Previous research on internal crisis communication—an overview The employees—a special and important actor, The goals of internal crisis communication, Different phases require different types of internal communication, 4 Leaders and coworkers—perspectives and roles, Divided research, Management versus leadership in relation to crises, The crisis leader’s 10 tasks, Different perspectives on leadership, Characteristics, style and situation, Leaders as visionaries and managers of meaning—the heroic leader, Collaborative leadership—the post-heroic leader, Sensemaking through framing, Absence of framing—an example, Construction of problems—example of an active attempt at framing, The importance of the coworkers, Coworkers in High Reliability Organizations, Organizational culture and coworkers, 5 Anticipation—the art of looking for weak signals, Everyone makes mistakes, Mistakes at the hospital and error management, What does the research say? The Normal Accident Theory (NAT), The High-Reliability Organization Theory (HRO), Safety Culture, Learning from mistakes, Anticipation and resilience, Organizational silence and upward negative information, The great importance of leadership, 6 Resilience—the art of managing crises and learning, Resilience, Organizational resilience, Ambiguity, sensemaking, and wise organizations, Expectations, plans, and blind spots, Interpretation of information, Crises and organizational learning, Early research and the traditional approach, Sociocultural perspective on organizational learning, Crises and learning, Obstacles for learning, Emergent learning strategies, Three types of learning post-crisis, 7 What can we learn, and how? Crisis communication—a research field in flux, Both/and thinking, Managing unexpected events, Improvisation, Paradoxical tensions, Lessons about internal communication before, during, and after the crisis, Pre-crisis, During the crisis, Post-crisis, 8 A note on methodology, References, Index

About the Authors

Mats Heide is professor in strategic communication at Lund University. He is co-author of Strategic Communication (with Jesper Falkheimer, Routledge 2018) and co-editor of Strategic Communication, Social Media and Democracy (Routledge 2016). Heide has published 12 books in Swedish on internal communication, crisis communication and strategic communication.

Charlotte Simonsson is senior lecturer in strategic communication at Lund University. She is former head of the Department of Strategic Communication at Lund University, and has a career as a communication consultant. Simonsson has published several books in Swedish on internal communication, leadership and organizational communication.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Communication / General