Journal of International Management


Global Crisis Management


Journal Special Issue


Timothy Coombs (Texas A&M), Daniel Laufer (Victoria University of Wellington)


October 31, 2016


Submission to: and

1. Purpose of Special Issue

Examples of crises involving multinationals can be found in the media around the world on a regular basis. Examples of high profile crises involving multinationals include the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the oil spill in the Gulf by BP, sudden acceleration in Toyota cars, and people becoming seriously ill after using Vioxx, a prescription drug manufactured by the American multinational Merck.

Despite the importance of Crisis Management to both academicians and practitioners, only recently have business journals devoted special issues to the topic (Laufer, 2015), and none to our knowledge in the area of global crisis management.

Crisis Management is defined as “a set of factors designed to combat crises and to lessen the actual damage inflicted by a crisis” (Coombs, 2015). Drawing from the literature in emergency preparedness, crisis management involves four interrelated factors: Prevention, preparation, response and revision (Coombs, 2015). These factors are incorporated in a commonly used three-stage approach describing Crisis Management as involving three phases. The pre-crisis phase (prevention and preparation), the crisis phase (response), and the post-crisis phase (learning and revision).

2. Examples of research themes and questions for the Special Issue

Whereas research has been conducted in all three phases of Crisis Management, most of the research is in the crisis phase and very little has been examined in the international context. This special issue is devoted to this area, and in particular we encourage submission of cross-cultural papers examining how the practice of Crisis Management differs across countries. Both theoretical and empirical submissions are welcome.  The empirical studies can use quantitative or qualitative methods. The following list of themes and questions are meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive, and to provide an indication of topics we are interested in for this Special Issue.

  • Risk Assessment and Diagnosing Crisis Vulnerabilities: Do stakeholders assess risk differently across countries? What cultural factors influence risk assessment?
  • Impact of Crises on Stakeholder Relationships (Employees, Customers, the Media, Shareholders): Do stakeholders react differently to crises across countries? What cultural factors influence the different reactions?
  • Communications During Crises: Do stakeholders react differently to corporate communication strategies across countries? What cultural factors influence the different reactions? Which communication strategies are most effective in a global context?
  • Managing Global Crises: How does a global crisis differ from a localized one? What factors need to be considered by companies in responding to a global crisis?
  • The Role of Corporate Reputation in a Crisis: What role does corporate reputation play in a global crisis? What is the impact of a strong corporate reputation during a global crisis. Is it more or less effective in certain cross-cultural contexts? How is corporate reputation impacted by a crisis? Is it more or less adversely impacted in certain countries? What cultural factors influence the extent of reputational harm?
  • Organizational Learning & Crises: Are employees in certain countries more or less receptive to learning from a crisis, and open to organizational change? What cultural factors facilitate organizational changes following a crisis?

3. Submission Instructions

The deadline for submission of manuscripts is October 31, 2016. Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with Journal of International Management’s Style Guide for Authors: Manuscripts should be electronically submitted to the Guest editors at and All submissions will be subject to the regular double-blind peer review process at JIM.

4. Contact details

Please direct any questions regarding the Special Issue to one of the guest editors.


Coombs, W. T. 2015.  Ongoing Crisis Communication (4th ed.).  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage

Laufer, D. 2015. Emerging Issues in Crisis Management. Business Horizons 2015 Vol 58 (2): 137-139.

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