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Management Paper Example: Effective vs. Ineffective Crisis Response

4 pages
861 words
University of Richmond
Type of paper: 
Literature review
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Whenever an organization encounters a crisis, the management is expected to apply particular mechanisms to resolve the identified problem. Some institutions can react fast and efficiently towards a crisis, implying that they have adequately prepared to handle a disaster. However, some organizations take long to combat a crisis resulting in a significant damage due to their inadequacy crisis response plans (Doorley & Garcia, 2015). Effective crisis response is associated with organizations which have appropriate mechanisms when it comes to combatting an emergency, and it facilitates the creation of a commanding competitive advantage, ultimately boosting the reputation of a given firm. On another hand, ineffective crisis response can put an organization in jeopardy thus ruining its brand image since it puts a given organization at a competitive disadvantage. This task will focus on evaluating the concepts of effective or ineffective crisis response in the context of Ubers data breach crisis.

Ubers Data Breach Crisis

Regulators globally are investigating a massive data breach which occurred at Uber Company and the role that the firm played when it comes to concealing it up. According to the recent reports released by Uber, it is disclosed that hackers tapped into the companys system, eventually stealing data from about 57 million users (riders and drivers). As a way of keeping covering it up, it is alleged that Uber paid hackers about $100,000, requiring them to delete the data, thus keeping the occurrence of data breach quiet and out of public domain (Fleischmann, 2017). Upon the revelation of this data breach incident, the company responded by firing Joe Sullivan, who was the firms Chief Security Officer. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was also relieved of his duty regardless of not being around when the hacking occurred.

Evaluation of Effective vs. Ineffective Crisis Response in Context of Ubers Case

In this scenario, it can be asserted that Ubers response to the data breach crisis was ineffective. Apart from damaging its global reputation as the leading U.S. technology corporation, Uber is also embroiled in a legal conflict with regulatory bodies regarding the companys inability to protect confidential data of its customers as required by the law. Doorley & Garcia (2015) identified features such as timeliness, quick and quality response as vital elements when it comes to achieving effective crisis response. The companys response plan should ensure there is a short period taken to resolve a crisis.

The longer it takes to combat the emergency, the harder it becomes for an institution to device damage control mechanisms (Doorley & Garcia, 2015). After hacking of its information system, Uber did not respond immediately but instead chose to succumb to the demands of a hacker to part with $100000 in exchange for deleting the hacked data. In the long run, it is demonstrated that this approach was not successful since the issue reached to the public, ultimately damaging the reputation of the company.

According to Fleischmann (2017) whenever an organization has encountered a data breach, covering up the incidence is the worst way of responding to such a crisis. Ubers Chief Security Officer, Joe Sullivan, and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tried to conceal the occurrence of the data breach by paying off the hackers. This arrangement did not last for long, as the report leaked to the public (Fleischmann, 2017). Covering up such events is an offense and can attract lawsuits. For example, Uber is currently under investigation from various regulatory bodies across the world for its role in covering up for the hackers, which is against data protection policies.

Pangarker (2016) Avers that an institution inevitably encounters crises or emergencies that likely to hamper the normal functioning. There is the need of implementing a suitable plan that can facilitate accomplishment of an effective crisis response. It is essential to a representative collection of simulated and planned scenarios which can act as a guided planning. As for the case of Uber, it was expected to exhaust the list of all likelihood events as far as data breach crises are concerned (Pangarker, 2016). This could have helped the company to identify the suitable model of responding to such incident. However, it is demonstrated that Uber did not have a predetermined strategy of handling data breach emergencies, which prompted its Chief Security Officer to cover up the breach by accepting the extortion of hackers with a promise of deleting the hacked data. Such practices epitomize ineffective crises respond which is often detrimental to the organization.


From Ubers case of data breach crises, it is revealed that ineffective crisis response is detrimental the reputation of an organization. It is a depiction that a given institution has adopted inadequate plan and strategies that can facilitate countering of a particular emergency. An organization with suitable approaches to combat emergencies or disasters have top-notch managerial elements that put it in a pole position to cope with various adversaries, thus gaining a competitive advantage as opposed to institutions with ineffective crisis response.



Doorley, J., & Garcia, H. F. (2015). Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication. New York: Routledge.

Fleischmann, A. (2017). Cybersecurity: Uber's Data Breach Crisis: 3 Lessons For CEOs. Forbes, 1-3.

Pangarker, N. (2016). A framework for effective crisis response. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 464-483.



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