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10 Organizational Structure and matching the medium with the message" (Greenberg, and Communication Systems 2002, p. 204). Airports are unique due to their highly structured regula- tory environment from the federal government to the local Human Continuity through Crisis level of government involvement. The majority of airports It is commonly known that most businesses pay more at- are owned and operated by municipalities, city, and county tention to the practical matters of a potential business inter- governments, which would assume a degree of complexity ruption than planning for the people side of the business, yet and centralization. However, many airports are in the form it is quite apparent that personnel are the most valuable asset of an enterprise system, or managed as a separate department, to a company in times of distress. Therefore, "human conti- away from local government. Airports are also commonly nuity" is a crucial variable in disaster planning for any orga- owned and operated by quasi-independent authorities, which are also a form of public administration. It is quite difficult nization. Determining what and how to respond to the human to put an exact definition on how an airport is operated and or mental health issues that may be present after a traumatic which type of organizational structure it has, as defined above. event are extremely important. Airport workers are constantly training and upgrading their According to Nowlan (2008) businesses need to be well- professional standards, so in that sense the industry is quite trained to recognize the issues that may follow an event to formalized; however, since the employees are highly trained, prevent potential absenteeism, low morale, or impaired work there is usually a lesser degree of centralized decision making. performance. Nowlan (2008) identifies that companies can The independent divisions (maintenance, operations, fire implement simple training exercises to mitigate mental health department, and law enforcement) within the airport struc- issues, and human resource teams should initiate table top ture are normally self-governed. exercises to provide effective support to managers when a An organizations structure, whether a complex set of re- crisis arises. Five specific areas that should be addressed by the porting lines or not, is an important concept to consider when company are (1) psychological impacts of trauma; (2) man- developing a mental health recovery program; and equally agerial responsibility; (3) how to support people recovery; important is the method of disseminating and training the (4) leadership in a crisis; and (5) being ready to support and employees. Communication is the transference and under- listen after the crisis (2008, p. 42). standing of information. There are several functions of com- Managerial responsibility speaks to the ability of a manager munication; it can be used to control employee behavior, to support their staff, even in times of personal crisis. Man- motivate employees, share information and express emotions agers should be trained to spot symptoms of stress and be able of management. The following is a list of the many variables to support the well-being of their employees and respond which must be considered when communicating (1) sender with the appropriate level of assistance (Nowlan, 2008). behavior; (2) receiver behavior; (3) feedback; (4) choice of Business Continuity Management (BCM) is a trend to media; (5) one-way vs. two way; (6) verbal vs. nonverbal; ensure that companies reemerge and minimize lost produc- (7) defensive vs. non-defensive; (8) interpersonal communica- tivity after a crisis. Whether it be pandemic bird flu, an e-coli tion; (9) formal vs. informal networks (grapevine); (10) small- outbreak, natural disaster, or other emergency, business lead- group networks (chain, wheel, all-channel); (11) directional ers have come to an important realization that, "people are flow (down, up, horizontal); (12) gender differences; and the most critical issue, and organizations have not thought (13) cultural differences (Greenberg, 2002). through all the different aspects associated with people when These variables should be considered when communica- a crisis happens" (Donston, 2001, 4). This is especially true for tion networks of any kind are in use. It is important to recog- highly specialized organizations such as airports and airlines. nize encoding and decoding issues may arise when sending People that work at airports across the country are highly and receiving information. This can stem from gender, cul- trained individuals, and organizations cannot afford to lose tural, and choice of medium used. There appears to be no such valuable employees in the wake of a crisis. Therefore, "one best way" to ensure correct communications all of the aviation organizations need to ensure the physical and emo- time. It is important to choose a media that will provide the tional well-being of their human capital, as well as the physical most richness for the individual(s) receiving the message and structure of the entities. to determine the level of complexity in the message when Organizations need to recognize that there are several vul- making that choice. Another area for consideration is the nerable stakeholder groups including staff, community, cus- speed and accuracy needed in the process. The basic assump- tomers, suppliers and family members when trauma is present. tion is that communication is "a continual balancing effort of It is advisable for companies to consider the well-being of juggling the conflicting needs for intimacy and independence all groups when attempting to return to normal operations.