Issue or problem? Managing the difference and averting crises
Purpose - Modern managers are expected to deal with a wide range of problems - only some of which are properly defined as organizational issues. The purpose of this paper is to distinguish true issues from other day to day problems and to offer guidelines to a strategic approach for identifying and managing such issues. Design/methodology/approach - The paper briefly introduces the established discipline of issue management with criteria and examples to illustrate how issues differ from general business problems. Six key guidelines are then introduced to ensure that organizational responses to issues are focused on a single objective, which is aligned with overall strategy, which addresses the issue in a manner which is clear, unambiguous and easily communicated, and which has proper support from top management. Findings - It is too easy to develop an issue response which simply meets the need for action or which assigns responsibility solely to the public affairs or communication function. To be effective issue management requires a cross-functional approach aligned to organizational strategy and with hands-on commitment by the managers most directly impacted. Originality/value - By exploring the vital link between issue management and strategic planning the paper demonstrates that issue management must directly involve line managers and offers practical guidelines for how managers can positively influence setting strategic objectives to deliver bottom line results.
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Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
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isMemberOf Journal Articles http://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/view/rmit:14
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