The Refractive Thinker: Vol XX: Crisis Management: Effective Business Solutions for Emergency Situations
The Refractive Thinker Press 2021
Number of Pages: 188


Publish date: April 6, 2021. Join contributing scholars in their discussion of their doctoral research findings regarding effective crisis management strategies. Doctoral scholars will share current research and their words of wisdom regarding what we have learned from various crises within the current generation as global discussion continues to shape the business landscape. Are you in the know regarding the most up-to-date and effective strategies in your field of study? Come join us to be part of the conversation of future success in business leadership around the world.


The purpose of this volume XX of the award winning series, The Refractive Thinker:® Crisis Management is to explore new research available from refractive thinkers who question not just the what, but the what if, the how, and the what next. Volume XX offers research with prescriptive solutions to the 2020 pandemic for the small business owner and includes sustainability and survival strategies, cybersecurity risk mitigation techniques, and lessons in building agility and resiliency in leaders. The research includes a deep dive into failures in strategic leadership and crisis execution.

Leading in our VUCA world requires leaders with a commitment to life-long learning who cast a wide net in search of new opportunities and new solutions to today’s challenges. The research offered by these doctoral scholars can give you a deeper view, not only of the challenges we all face, but of different ways to address them.
RT Vol XX Chap 1 Crisis Management: Combating Aggression, Promoting Resilience
Individuals respond differently to crises. Crisis can be the loss of a loved one, experiencing a natural disaster, personal difficulties, or facing a global pandemic. The way in which individuals respond to crises can determine their well-being and how they thrive at the end of a crisis. This chapter will delve into resilience and aggression as a response to a global pandemic in educational systems worldwide. Leaders can affect individuals and the organization by the way they manage crises. If leaders practice flexibility and servant leadership, the individuals in their organizations can prove to be resilient, whereas those who practice less demonstrative styles of leadership may face aggression from their subordinates. Those in crisis may inadvertently experience some forms of aggression while others may thrive and prove to be resilient in the face of crisis. Although institutions implement forms of crisis management, individuals must process the crisis and the way in which the crisis is managed on their own which can either promote resilience or aggression. Taking a proactive approach versus reactive can lead to better outcomes promoting resilience.

Schools worldwide need to adopt online teaching-learning formats that encompass all learning styles to ensure all students are not falling behind educationally. This should include teaching modalities, as well as creative means or outlets for students to demonstrate learning. For example, how can project-based learning, centers, stations, kinetic learning, be facilitated in virtual online formats. The swift move from in-person to virtual learning caused disruption to education and increased learning gaps. A practical hands-on approach should be taken to virtual teaching to enhance learning. There is difficulty to assess student understanding in an online environment. Thus checks for understanding and demonstration of learning should be paramount throughout online lessons.
RT Vol XX: Chap 2: Effective Risk Management Strategies for Retail Business Sustainability
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) (2020), 50% of businesses fail within the first year, and 95% fail within the first 5 years. The reasons have nothing to do with the business's product or service but rather a lack of risk management strategies to sustain the businesses. The contribution of small retail businesses to the U.S. economy, and local economies, in particular, creates a need for retail business owners to develop strategies to sustain their business. In this chapter of the Refractive Thinker®, the author presents an overview of creative strategies that might improve sustainability. The author shares findings to enhance profitability, productivity, and sustainability from 10 qualitative interviews conducted with retail business managers in the United States who worked in the retail business for a minimum of 2 years. The data analysis findings indicated that effective communication with suppliers, effective marketing strategy, adequate cash flow management, and risk management training enhanced sustainability.
RT Vol XX: Chap 3: Consideration of Necessary Cybersecurity Awareness in Mitigating Disruptive Risk Events
The continual audit of organizational cybersecurity awareness in an ecosystem that relies on mitigating and overcoming a-multitude-of risks of threats and malicious attacks when managing a crisis requires governance to align organizations’ mission with cybersecurity strategies, in structuring performance, and assessing the culture and assets. Analysis of organizational security postures could help against unprecedented security vulnerabilities of private and protected assets to potential exploits in times of global turmoil in protecting the wellbeing of the most valuable assets amid disruption, being people. Organizational leaders create value by aligning the mission with operations and culture, information security (InfoSec) knowledge and awareness, and strategies in monitoring cyber-vulnerabilities and threats in an interconnected world of increasing risk of the threat landscape. The opportunities learned from the events of 2020 on widespread disruptions and the enormous impact on societies that affected industries surmounted new challenges in cybersecurity to prepare and direct attention to support maintaining resilience in threat environments, on many levels. Refractively thinking to respond to crisis might require triaging essential services to fill gaps through contingency and incident response planning systems using artificial intelligence (AI) for cybersecurity, in processing threat intelligence and gathering insights on the noise from alerts, accurately and with an increased speed in reducing response times. Conducting a business impact analysis (BIA) in processing organizational deliverables and information could help to establish facts, implementation of business continuity plans (BCP), and preparing to respond in handling risks of exposures to attacks and backup contingencies with disaster recovery plans (DRP) in accounting for an organization’s loss of assets. The evaluation of risks against critical assets helps organizations deployment of safeguards to mitigate security risks of threats.
RT Vol XX: Chap 4 Small Business Response to a Global Crisis
The small business industry experienced unprecedented effects during the 2020 pandemic and was not prepared to handle the repercussions. Stay-at-home orders resulting from the 2020 pandemic affected small business owners ranging from loss of revenue, income, services, and security in communities across the United States. Federal assistance was available for small business owners who needed relief. Nonessential small businesses, specifically hair and nail salons, dental and healthcare practices, hotels and restaurants, personal security, building and ground maintenance services, and cleaning and maintenance services are the focus of this chapter.

The closure of nonessential businesses caused a loss of revenue to the communities, loss of medical providers and access to healthcare for non-2020 pandemic-related illnesses, loss of income for service employees, loss of security in the communities, and loss of services that keep the communities clean and sanitary (Correia et al., 2020). The authors of this chapter evaluated how small business owners responded to the 2020 pandemic and how they can prepare for future crises (Bartik et al., 2020). By taking a refractive thinking approach, small business owners sought to identify essential services they could add to their businesses so they could make a profit while their primary business service was closed.
RT Vol XX: Chap 5 Crisis Management Techniques for Transformational Leaders
Comprehensive knowledge of crisis management techniques is key for effective leadership. These techniques are an important aspect of business that many leaders overlook. Leaders that do not implement effective strategies to manage crises are at risk of developing unnecessary distress within their organization. The business problem in this multiple case study is business leaders lack strategies to overcome or mitigate crises within organizations, which can result in business failure. The findings of this study contributed to social change by providing business leaders with solutions for managing crisis situations and ensuring the recovery or sustainability of a business and its operations during emergencies..

A crisis can be a disruptive event or a partial disruption in which people, property, equipment, or the environment negatively affects a company’s value (Vardarlıer, 2016). Management of a crisis situation or taking a leadership role during an event needs an amalgamation of required skills, knowledge, and abilities. This will lead to effective crisis management with better plans and responses (Alharthi & Khalifa, 2019).

Farazmand's (2009) theory of surprise management is the conceptual basis of this study and was supported by the transformational leadership theory. Effective crisis planning combined with a refractive thinking approach helps identify the early warning signals for a crisis, even if the problem may not be seen or recognized, or is evident but no action is taken (Paraskeves, 2006). Various types of crises occur within an organization. Leaders need to have strategies and crisis management techniques based on the type of crisis within the organization.
RT Vol XX: Chap 6 Post-Crisis Transformation: Prioritizing Leadership Agility, Wellbeing & Inclusive Excellence
Surviving the current volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment needs agility. Global researchers and organizational development (OD) practitioners suggest that agility is critical at hierarchal levels to survive the economic, financial, and incongruence effect of the precipitous 2020 pandemic. Agility encompasses the capacity to forestall impending threats, the aptitude to survive unexpected occurrences, and the propensity to leverage collaboration for innovation proactivity and knowledge acclimatization. The agility premise offers a proactive and transformative paradigm for re-orientating human resources and building resilience as a strategic priority for competitive advantage, innovative performance, financial outlook, and sustainability. Through refractive thinking, the information in this chapter spotlights vital recommendations for building an inclusive workplace and how organizations can advance from diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) awareness to actionable catalyst for inclusive excellence. Also highlighted in this chapter is the pressing demand for organizational leaders to humanize the workplace and organizational wellbeing through flexible and inclusive workplace policies, not a one-size-fits-all. The refractive message is clear; navigating the new normal successfully depends on agile, diverse, and collaborative ecosystem that is fair, flexible, engaging, and inclusive.
RT Vol XX: Chap 7 Strategies for Restaurant Survival During a Pandemic
The recent pandemic presented an opportunity for restaurants to change their business model to survive and become more efficient. Government regulations imposed on restaurants restricted hours and required social distancing resulting in lost sales and loss of jobs to millions of restaurant employees. Recently, with the onset of the 2019 pandemic, the restaurant business halted and produced job losses of over 8 million in the first six months of 2020 (Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2020). Unfortunately, the leisure and hospitality sector is vulnerable to the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters and pandemics, which often result in substantial financial losses (Kim, Lee, & Tang, 2020). The pandemic of 2019 created a disaster for the U.S. restaurant industry as it impacted their customer base, which affected their financials and cash flow; it was considered unprecedented and filled with uncertainty (Nhamo, Dube, & Chikodzi, 2020). Grounded in resource-based view theory, the purpose of this study was to explore successful strategies restauranteurs use in periods of crisis. The participants comprised 10 restaurateurs in the Northeast United States who effectively used creative and innovative strategies to survive the pandemic. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and company social media platforms, and six themes emerged: financials, supply chain, employee retention, marketing, customer retention, and governmental support.
RT Vol XX Chap 8 Left and Right of the Boom: Crisis Management Preparedness Against Terrorists’ Use of Explosives
Crisis management is a fluid and ever-changing environment, which requires adept leaders who can see the strategic picture and beyond. Crisis managers who are transformational leaders and imbued with a high level of emotional intelligence possess the ability to adequately adapt to an emergency. While managers are skilled in navigating the multifaceted field known as crisis management, most limit their planning and preparation to natural disasters with limited consideration of man-made disasters such as terrorism and specifically, the terrorists’ use of explosives. The refractive thinker goes beyond the status quo and plans and prepares for these low probability/high consequence attacks by seeking the guidance of experts in the field of explosives and bombing matters; the public safety bomb technician. Wise crisis managers seek the knowledge of the public safety bomb technician in the planning, preparation, and response to acts of terrorism. Few managers put forth the effort to include subject matter experts (SMEs) into their exercise, event planning, and response posture, to find new and innovative solutions to minimize injuries, loss of life, and property damage.