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CONTAINMENT

Anticipation strategies are designed to help organizations see new and emerging risks and to respond to these emerging problems before they result in crises. The HRO model accepts that not all risks can or will be observed before they manifest into threatening conditions. Thus, the model introduces containment as a means for responding to events “mindfully and swiftly” after they have occurred (Weick and Sutcliffe, 2007, p. 65). Strategies for doing so include a commitment to resilience and deference to expertise.

Commitment to Resilience

From an HRO perspective, organizations are resilient when they are “mindful of events that have already occurred and ... correct them before they worsen and cause more serious harm” (p. 68). Doing so requires organizations to engage in precrisis planning (Seeger, 2006). The National Center for Food Protection and Defense explains that such precrisis planning involves establishing communication networks, assigning communication roles, and having the resources needed before a crisis event occurs (Sellnow and Vidoloff, 2009). Organizations committed to resilience prepare themselves for crises so that, despite the uncertainty, they have the strategies and resources in place to continue to function, recover quickly, and adapt their operations after such events.

Deference to Expertise

The HRO model does not prioritize organizational hierarchies in the management of risk. In fact, such hierarchies can preclude an organization’s decision makers from receiving the most accurate and informative input regarding failure. Deference to expertise occurs when organizations allow information to flow in all directions throughout the organization so that expertise is shared both upward and downward. For example, regular feedback from line workers can help supervisors regularly revise routine procedures to adjust to evolving risks. Organizations that diminish the role of worker input at any level increase the potential for minor failures to grow into serious crises.

 
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