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Crisisology and its Theoretical Value

Vernon Rupert Grant –

Crisis Convergence & Integration Theory (CCIT) forms the core of Crisisology as a discipline. Crisisologists understand that the canons of crisis management, emergency management, disaster management, and catastrophe management all relate to organizational, community, and personal disruptions. Crisisology then requires these canons to be studied and applied simultaneously. Relative to this framework, and in order to deal effectively with disturbances, professionals should also understand their decision-making processes, and why certain plans are adopted in hopes of correcting various disturbing events. Although there are varying definitions (depending on the literature one reads) for each management category noted above, under Crisisology, the meaning of each should be clear.  

For Crisisologists, a crisis manifests itself when during the normal course of events a disruption occurs that requires immediate intervention to correct the same.  In light of such conditions, emergencymanagement practices relating to planning and mobilization are, therefore, triggered in response. Hence, emergency mobilizing is the logistical intervention needed to halt the raging variables in a crisis. Depending on organizational risk or community hazard mitigation measures, the crisis may take on a certain level of intensity in which, life and property are seriously threatened. Therefore, the extent of the damage that occurs would translate into being a disaster, which may require outside assistance. While a man-made or natural disaster can reflect various forms of severity, the effects of a catastrophe would be far reaching. Such an extraordinary occurrence might affect the economic, social, environmental, and physical infrastructure aspects of regional or national populations.  This level of damage could be considered the terminal result of a crisis, thus creating a more chaotic condition than that of a disaster. 

Further, the desire to stabilize a catastrophic condition would require the application of maximum resources and effort, if the return to any level of normalcy were to be expected. Thus, extreme emergency planning and preparedness ought to be in place, followed by surgically targeted mobilization processes. While the terms crisis, emergency and disaster are at times used interchangeably; Crisisology establishes an unambiguous environment in which the industry can now create a convergence of the principles of each management category, and achieve the ultimate integration thereof. 

One cannot realistically examine or even hope to understand a crisis, with the expectation of mitigating its present or probable effects, unless he or she comprehends its disaster or catastrophic components. In connection to the requisite level of PESTAs emergency resources (people, equipment, supplies, time, and administrative systems) needed for deployment, Crisisologists, and emergency managers instinctively know they must assess the impacting nature of the crisis.  In essence, the extent of the damage must be synergistically evaluated, in order to decide on the level of emergency response needed.               

Essentially, therefore, Crisisology’s fundamental approach lies in the notion that there is a burning need to establish clarity with respect to the meaning of these various forms of management. Its premise further pivots on bringing together these management practices (convergence), and seamlessly interlacing them (integration), under one key discipline, Crisisology. By extension then, the interpretive value of CCIT would suggest that the canons of all four management areas are embedded in the new discipline. Indeed, this presents a radical departure from the traditional thinking in the current field and thus is on the cutting-edge of managerial practice as a salient concept. A challenging frontier for management is unfolding, and Crisisology as a discipline, will provide wholistic guidance as a way forward. A unifying purpose would, therefore, assist practitioners and theoreticians in producing more cohesive policies and decision-making processes, when dealing with the broader parameters of Crisis & Prevention Management (CPM) imperatives. This attempt will help open new avenues for effective solutions to be realized in organizations and communities, and with respect to individuals and their personal crises, as well.    

Crisisologists are cognizant of the theoretical and practical implications surrounding the merging of these various management categories. The principles of each will be explained in subsequent communication by this journal. The nucleus of Crisisology as a discipline is now being formed, and as it evolves over time, with the converging/integrative approach as its focal point, there is an expectation that vigorous debate will emerge, as a result. 

This presentation is only an abridged configuration of the aforementioned Crisisological theory. Its issues will be teased out and extended to numerous classifications during the course of the next several years. Much research needs to be done, and practitioners, researchers, and educators in the public policy, organizational, traumatic/therapeutic, and environmental science fields are being asked to consider developing answers to complex questions that this innovative theory will no doubt generate. 

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About the Author: Vernon Rupert Grant is a Crisisologist, and a New York University trained management executive, who holds several high-level industry awards relating to leadership in crisis and prevention management. He has published in the field, and currently teaches various courses and seminars, including Crisis & Prevention Management (CPM); Leadership Skills, Human Relations; Management Ethics, Project Management, and How to Manage Your Manager. He may be reached at [email protected].   

Grant, V. R. (2012, October).
‘Crisisology and its Theoretical Value.’
The Management Journal of Crisisology Today, 01, 1-2.    
All Rights Reserved. 

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Crisisology, the new discipline

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