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Corporate Communication Crisis Leadership by Matthew Corr, Sarah M. DeIuliis, Ronald C. Arnett

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CHAPTER 10

Crisis in Review: The 2010 Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Crisis is not spontaneous; generally, warning signs are already in place that signal the inevitability of escalation. Crisis is the final step, evolving from issue, argument, and conflict. In this chapter the BP tragedy is examined as a case study of unproductive issue, argument, and conflict engagement leading to a major crisis. Heath (2006, p. 245) defines crisis as “risk manifested.” He argues that crises are the culmination of risks that escalate into events that threaten organizational survival. The BP case illustrates the problematic consequences of thoughtlessness and disregard for communication ethics in action, consequences up to and including inevitable crises. By reviewing ...

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