SUBJECT: EMS 4305-13A Public Information and Community Relations Using one of the stage model theories described in our course textbook, write a two-page paper applying the stage model theory to a crisis of the 21st century in APA format.
Fink’s Four-Stage Cycle A second stage model for looking at crisis development was created by Steven Fink. Fink compared a crisis to a chronic disease or illness that develops over time (Sellnow & Seeger, 2013). Fink believed that, like an illness, a crisis is fluid and must be administered to in order to ensure that it does not continue to develop and impact the community. In this stage cycle, a crisis develops in four stages. The first stage in Fink’s theory is the prodromal stage. This stage is similar to the pre-crisis stage (from the three stage model), in that this is the period in time where the warning signs begin to show. The difference between the pre-crisis and the prodromal stage is that in Fink’s eyes the pre-crisis stage is seen only when reviewing the crisis, while in his prodromal stage, the signs are seen early, especially if someone is monitoring, much like a doctor monitors a patient. The second stage is the acute stage. This is really the point of no return. It’s the time in which the crisis is going to impact and there is no more opportunity to prevent or prepare for it. However, if planning occurred during the prodromal stage, the impacts of the crisis will be much less. The third stage in Fink’s stage model is the chronic stage. By comparison, this is the recovery stage. It’s the opportunity to not only clean-up from the crisis, but also reflect on how to better prepare and respond to future events. The final stage is the resolution stage. Using the medical comparison, this is where the disease is gone and the “patient” is healthy again. The goal for any crisis manager is to reach the resolution stage as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, in Fink’s model, it’s possible that the acute and chronic stages may intertwine and increase in length, impacting the ability to reach the resolution stage. One of the weaknesses of Fink’s model is the fact that it looks at the disease as if it were to attack a single person. However, as is well proven, a crisis impacts more than one person, which means that “treatment” must be specialized for each person. Turner’s Six-Stage Sequence of Failure in Foresight Using his recognition of the complexity of organizations, Barry Turner developed a process called the six-stage sequence of failure in foresight (Sellnow & Seeger, 2013). Turner’s system has a clear process from one cycle to the next, though there is more focus on the socio-culture aspects of crisis and crisis management. The first stage in Turner’s sequence is the point at which things are normal, a point based on culturally accepted beliefs and views. Stage two is the development of the crisis, normally seen through the development of unnoticed events that seem to go against what is considered socially normal and acceptable. Stage three is the event itself, forcing people to finally pay attention to those little events that had built up to the crisis and begin to pay attention. Stage four is when the impact of the event itself is felt and culture norms begin to collapse as a result. This is where chaos and confusion are seen as a response. Stage five is the rescue and salvage. Turner believed this is the stage where people first begin to adjust to the changes the crisis has caused. The adjustments people make as a result of the crisis impacts allows rescuers to respond and assistance to be provided. The final stage of Turner’s sequence of failure in foresight is the final cultural adjustment. This is when society changes based on the new view of the world that was created as a result of the crisis. This is what becomes the new “normal” used to judge stage one.
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