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  1. 1. Crisis Management: Are Public Transportation Authority Leaders Prepared? Wanda F. Lester, Ph.D. Vereda J. King, Ph.D. Principal Investigators Urban Transit Institute Transportation Institute North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University B402 Craig Hall 1601 East Market Street Greensboro, NC 27411 Telephone: (336) 334-7745 Fax: (336) 334-7093 Internet Home Page: Prepared for: U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Special Programs Administration Washington, DC 20590 January 2006 Final Report
  2. 2. DISCLAIMER The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the information presented herein. This document is distributed under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation, University Research Institute Program, in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the contents or use thereof.
  3. 3. 1. Report No. 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient’s Catalog No. DTRS93-G-0018 4. Title and Subtitle 5. Report Date JANUARY 31, 2006 CRISIS MANAGEMENT: ARE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY 6. Performing Organization Code LEADERS PREPARED? 8. Performing Organization Report No. 7. Author(s) WANDA F. LESTER, Ph.D., VEREDA J. KING, Ph.D. 9. Performing Organization Name and Address 10. Work Unit No. Urban Transit Institute The Transportation Institute 11. Contract or Grant No. NC A&T State University DTRS93-G-0018 Greensboro, NC 27411 12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address 13. Type of Report and Period Covered US Department of Transportation FINAL REPORT Research and Special Programs Administration JANUARY 2004 TO JANUARY 2006 400 7th Street, SW 14. Sponsoring Agency Code Washington, DC 20590 15. Supplementary Notes 16. Abstract The events of September 11, 2001 shocked the world. For the citizenry of the United States, these events were life changing. The loss of human life, the destabilization of families, organizations, corporations, and industries by extreme and unforeseen circumstances destroyed confidences in the basic securities most people had come to take for granted. Private and public entities learned the meaning of the term crisis management and these entities learned that crisis management is a leadership issue. Public transportation services in New York and Washington, DC were immediately disrupted, but the public transit systems across the country and even globally face equal risks. The continuation of reliable, safe public transit services is vital for effective physical and economic community development, yet little is known about the response of transit authority leaders during crisis events. The current research begins a three-phased approach to understanding the willingness and capacity of public transportation leaders to champion, plan, and implement the tasks associated with effective crisis management. We posit the notion that crises are preceded by cognitive, organizational, and political factors that limit the implementation of effective policies and procedures to avoid critical response failures. In this first phase of the study, we examine the structural and organizational dimensions of Region 4 of the Federal Transit Administration, which comprises 69 transit authorities across eight southeastern states. This first-phase study concludes with procedural next steps to conclude the work through survey and on-site visits in phase 2, and collaborative leadership studies in phase 3. 17. Key Words 18. Distribution Statement Crisis effectiveness, crisis management, transit leaders 19. Security Classif. (of this report) 20. Security Classif. (of this page) 21. No. of Pages 22. Price UNCLASSIFIED UNCLASSIFIED 18 N/A
  4. 4. TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary ................................................................................... i Introduction................................................................................................1 Literature Review.......................................................................................3 Methodology ............................................................................................11 Conclusion ...............................................................................................15 Research Dissemination...........................................................................16 References................................................................................................17 Appendices
  5. 5. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Crisis management requires leaders to respond to devastating events with boldness, clarity, and conviction. Crises occur in every walk of life and, while some garner the attention of the world, other events can be equally as destructive to a neighborhood, a community, a city, or even a region of a country. The events of September 11, 2001 shocked the world. For the citizenry of the United States, these events were life changing. The loss of human life, the destabilization of families, organizations, corporations, and industries by extreme and unforeseen circumstances destroyed confidences in the basic securities most people had come to take for granted. Private and public entities learned the meaning of the term crisis management and, more importantly, these entities learned that crisis management is a leadership issue. Public transportation services in New York and Washington, DC were immediately disrupted, but the public transit systems across the country and even globally face equal risks. The continuation of reliable, safe public transit services is vital for effective physical and economic community development, yet little is known about the response of transit authority leaders during crisis events. The current research begins a three-phased approach to understanding the willingness and capacity of public transportation leaders to champion, plan, and implement the tasks associated with effective crisis management. We posit the notion that crises are preceded by cognitive, organizational, and political factors that limit the implementation of effective policies and procedures to avoid critical response failures. In this first phase of the study, we examine the structural and organizational dimensions of 69 transit authorities from Region 4 of the Federal Transit Administration. These transit agencies represent eight southeastern states. This first-phase study presents foundation building research supporting i
  6. 6. the need for an interdisciplinary leadership perspective when addressing immediate and smoldering crises. We then present summary information about the sample organizations selected from Region 4. The study includes only those agencies that have reported transit information to the National Transportation Database for at least two years and that maintain an operational fleet of busses. Phase One of the study concludes with procedural next steps to solicit and analyze survey data and to engage in face-to-face structured interviews with a sub-sample group of transit leaders in Phase Two. The final phase of the study, planned for June 2006, involves the introduction of a training seminar for transit leaders. The three-phased approach provides a complete view of the current status of the transit agencies with respect to crisis management preparedness and the learning that takes place over the period of study. ii
  7. 7. CRISIS MANAGEMENT: ARE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY LEADERS PREPARED? 1. INTRODUCTION Mitroff and Harrington’s (1996) article, Thinking About the Unthinkable, presented a startling warning to corporate boards of directors: “Run. Hide. Do what you will to avoid a crisis, but be forewarned: Despite all your valiant efforts, a crisis is sure to find its way to your company’s doorstep” (p. 44). On September 11, 2001, the most unthinkable crisis found its way to the doorstep of every American, and the concept of crisis management was immediately changed forever. Lives were lost, confidences were shaken, and public transportation services were immediately disrupted. Yet managing crisis situations cannot be viewed only from the perspective of the obvious destruction. Crisis management is a leadership issue (Hesselbein, 2002) and it requires leaders who are both courageous and willing to attack the causes of failure on multiple levels. The terrorist attacks and the following Antrax scare fostered the growth of a new security industry. The public was introduced to high-technology detection devises, disaster simulations, and crisis management teams; at the federal level, the United States formed a broad-powered Department of Homeland Security. However crises continue, causing vast losses of life and property, and severe disruptions of necessary services. Public transit systems remain one of the most vulnerable services. Recently, these services, which are vital for the continuity of effective physical and economic community development, have been disrupted by natural disasters, labor strikes, and operational inefficiencies. The public transit systems of America’s rural and small cities are as much at risk to experience crisis situations as large urban cities. Crisis management research indicates that 1
  8. 8. individuals are often rationalize the likelihood for crisis situations and impede preparedness (Pearson and Mitroff, 1993). One of the most prevalent misconceptions about crises is the recurring belief that the disaster will not happen here (Janis, 1989). Numerous transit studies have examined transit security operations, but only a few have focused specifically on the strategic issues facing public transit leadership issues (Ugboro & Obeng, 2005). We found no studies that examined the cognitive issues that inhibit the preparedness of transit leaders for emergency situations. This research initiates that discussion by reviewing the literature related to crisis management and examining the structural and organizational dimensions of regional transportation authorities. First we examine the concept of “predictable” crises and the cognitive biases that may impact responsiveness. Then we examine the organizational structure of the transit authorities and identify some areas that inhibit effective communication and the development of leadership-role development among subordinates within the organization. Finally, we develop survey questions and an approach for field testing our preliminary investigation. The next section presents a review of the literature relative to crisis management and cognitive biases. 2
  9. 9. 2. LITERATURE REVIEW Sudden crises – natural disasters, fires, storms, explosions – are most likely to come to mind when one thinks of events that will have a negative impact on the work environment. Sudden crises are described as business disruptions that occur without any significant warning. However, the Institute for Crisis Management at George Washington University found that, since 1990, up to 75 percent of the crises reported in media represented “smoldering crises.” Smoldering crises begin as small, internal problems that, because of a lack of appropriate managerial attention, become large, public problems. Mitroff and Harrington (1996) refer to these smoldering crises as human-caused crises that most often represent “defects within the larger organization or system” (p. 43). These authors note that these human-caused crises almost always leave a trail of early-warning signals. Two major challenges limit detection: recognition and interpretation. Crisis situations significantly constrain opportunities for rational decision making. In critical times it is unlikely that all of the facts will be available or that the best solutions will surface. Seminal research by March and Simon (1958) and Cyert and March (1963) found that managers must often act under conditions of bounded rationality. Under periods of uncertainty and ambiguous organizational goals, decisions are deferred to management coalitions that further constrain these processes. The intent of individual managers may be one of rationality, but human cognitive limitations and constraints with respect to time and resources force alternative solutions. Organizations accept the satisfactory rather than optimal level of performance. Cyert and March refer to this form of decision making as satisficing. We can anticipate that immediate crises inhibit thoroughness and enhance opportunities for bounded rationality. 3
  10. 10. Proposition 1: The greater the immediate crisis, the greater the association will be between coalition-based decision making and satisfising behaviors. Predictable Surprises Research by Bazerman and Watkins (2004) suggest that some sudden crises and disasters are in fact “predictable surprises.” They find that these situations arise when persons in authority lack the courage, and even the political will, to act decisively when presented with strong organizational barriers. Referring to the tragedies of September 11 as “predictable neglect,” Bazerman and Watkins detail specific activities that leaders considered and failed to act on that may have prevented, or at a minimum mitigated, the enormity of the crisis. Following the 1996 mid-air explosion of TWA Flight 800 that killed all 230 passengers, President Bill Clinton established the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security and designated Vice President Al Gore as Commission chairman. Within a few months, the powerful commission presented a report to the president requesting significant increases in airline security. On September 9, 1996, President Clinton proposed a sweeping $1.1 billion package to improve aviation security and combat terrorism (Nomani, 1996). However, within a two week period, following heavy lobbying from the industry and concerns over political posturing by a Democratic administration in an election year, the tough recommendations for reform were relaxed to a computer simulation of the effects of implementation on air traffic. A revised final commission report, with no specified timetable for implementation, was submitted to President Clinton in February 1997. The only committee member objection came from Commissioner M. Victoria Cummock who, only after a successful lawsuit, gained authorization to attach a dissenting comment to the document. On 9/11, when few of the recommendations had been 4
  11. 11. implemented, Ms. Cummock’s (1997) comments attached to the commission document were haunting: In summary, the final report contains no specific call to action, [and] no commitments to address aviation safety and security system-wide by mandating the deployment of current technology and training, with actionable timetables and budgets. Later attempts to track these recommendations will result in problems with differing agency interpretations, misunderstandings, and outright opposition to implementation by individuals and/or organizations who oppose the specific recommendations. ( The similarities between aviation safety and security have a bearing on related concerns in the area of public transit. Bazerman and Watkins’s (2004) specifically raise this point by noting that “in the early days of commercial aviation, airplanes were as unprotected as city buses and trains are today.” (p. 18). Some would strenuously debate this assertion, but the conflicts that arise based on political and organizational differences cannot be ignored. Bazerman and Watkins define a predictable surprise as one that occurs when leaders have all the data and insight they need to recognize the potential for a crisis but fail to respond with effective preventive action. Stakeholders expect leaders to be prepared for any crisis, and they further expect that these leaders will take the actions necessary to protect the public, limit harm, and compensate damages. Bazerman and Watkins describe these leadership difficulties as cognitive, organizational, and political root causes of failure. These authors observe that at each of these levels leaders facilitate predictable surprises by failing to act on known information. These causes are described below. Cognitive Biases • Positive illusions – an assumption that the problem either does not exist or the severity of likelihood of the problem does not merit action • Egocentric interpretations of events – when considering solutions to potential crisis, the leader allocates credit or blame in ways that are self-serving. 5
  12. 12. • Discount the future – fail to act immediately to prevent a potential disaster because it appears distant • Maintain the status quo – leaders do not believe drastic action will occur if they fail to address the problem • Lack vivid data – often problems are not fixed until they are personally experienced or until individuals can imagine themselves, or those close to them, in peril Organizational Process Failures • Failure to allocate adequate resources to collect information about emerging threats • Reluctance to disseminate information deemed too sensitive to share • Gaps in individual knowledge • Failure to integrate knowledge that is available but not dispersed across the organization • Individual negligence and malfeasance • Ambiguity in defining and assigning responsibilities • Lapses in capturing lessons-learned • Human resource turnover that results in losses of institutional memory Political Limitations Special interest groups play a significant role in shaping the response of leaders in their service to various constituencies. Over time such groups have advocated for reforms that have improved the society at large. While in other instances, the advocacy has been designed to benefit only the member group. When influential groups are narrowly focused the end result can become a burden on the broader society. With respect to public transportation, narrowly focused groups advocate for the curtailment of recommendations that appear to increase corporate costs or public taxation. However, the burden for narrow 6
  13. 13. stakeholder concessions often results in safety and security laxities that negatively impact the broader community. Cognitive biases, failures in organizational processes, and political actions represent failures on multiple levels and contribute to overall managerial pressures. These failures individually and/or collectively contribute to sub-optimal decision-making. Proposition 2: Under extreme pressure managers will exhibit more vacillation in their strategic behaviors than managers under low/moderate pressure. Crises Leadership – The Impossibility and the Opportunity Boin and Hart (2003) observe that “crisis and leadership are intertwined phenomena” (p. 544). In periods of crisis, leaders are expected to take some action, and when that action renders satisfactory results, the leaders become heroes. Conversely, when the results are not satisfactory or the crisis continues, the leaders become the scapegoats. The current society is highly media focused and failures or successes by leaders in crisis situations gain immediate public exposure. When considered under the lens of the causes for failure observed by Bazerman and Watkins (2004), the level of media focus increases the complexity of the crisis. Hurricane Katrina, historically America’s most devastating natural disaster by all relevant measures, exhibited failures on all levels: cognitive, organizational, political, and sociocultural (Fox, 2005; Alter, 2005). As the dedicated twenty-four hour television coverage of the crisis increased public awareness globally of the multiple failures, research indicates that little is known about crisis communication in the public sector (Horsley and Barker, 2002). Boin and Hart (2003) call public leadership in times of crisis a mission impossible. These researchers identify community expectations for leadership in six areas and juxtapose these 7
  14. 14. against research findings that render the public leader incapable of meeting the expectation. Table 1 present their findings regarding the public expectations and the challenges experienced by leaders. Despite the dire picture of hopelessness Boin and Hart present, they foster the notion that crises also present important opportunities for organizational change and program reform. Leaders can use these opportunities to reaffirm collective core values, restore political confidence, and create an impetus for quicker more effective decision-making processes. Table 1 – Boin and Hart, 2003 Public Expectation Leadership Challenge Leaders should put public safety first Because of economic and political costs, leaders settle for sub-optimal levels of safety Leaders should prepare for worst case Most government and business leaders are Scenarios reluctant to prepare for crisis-response roles Leaders should head warnings about In human-caused disasters, most policy- future crises makers misinterpret or ignore signals of impending danger Leaders take charge, providing clear Crisis management crosses boundaries direction to crisis-management operations that demand lateral, not top down, command and control Leaders should be compassionate towards In a desire t exhibit care, leaders make victims in word and deed unrealistic promises Leaders strive to learn lessons after a Leaders get caught in the politics of Crisis blaming, and learning becomes limited in this atmosphere Proposition 3: The more effective the manager is in resolving the crisis, the greater will be the manager’s attention to initiating change. Proposition 4: The less effective the manager is in resolving the crisis, the greater will be the manager’s attention to maintaining the status quo. 8
  15. 15. Interdisciplinary Perspective on Crisis Management Crisis management scholars have suggested criteria for judging crisis management effectiveness (Quarantelli, 1998), but Pearson and Clair (1998) note that from a practical perspective, differentiating effective and ineffective management has been problematic. They observe that the literature offers extensive “speculation and prescription” (p. 73) but little empirical testing. For example, these authors question whether it is sufficient to deem an outcome effective if only the financial expenditures resulting from the event were manageable? How does one view the same outcome if we now add information indicating that early warning signs preceding the disaster were ignored, plans and preparations for such an occurrence were inadequate, and early false statements were released to the public to limit negative reactions? Even further, if no organizational learning occurs following the response, can the managerial actions still be classified as effective? Richardson (1993) proposes the need to address crisis management from an empirical and pedagogical perspective, citing the need to teach crisis management through the development and use of case studies. Pearson and Clair (1998) subscribe to the interdisciplinary approaches to crisis management cited earlier in this review. They contribute to this topical discussion by: (1) providing distinguishing definitions between organizational crisis and crisis management effectiveness; and (2) developing a cohesive interdisciplinary framework to the examination of the crisis management process. Pearson & Clair use literatures associated with psychological, social-political, and technological-structural research to develop an integrative approach to crisis management. It is from these perspectives that the authors posit the following definitions as a distinction between management and effectiveness: 9
  16. 16. An organizational crisis is a low-probability, high-impact situation that is perceived by critical stakeholders to threaten the viability of the organization and that is subjectively experienced by these individuals as personally and socially threatening. Ambiguity of cause, effect, and means of resolution of the organizational crisis will lead to disillusionment or loss of psychic and shared meaning, as well as to the shattering of commonly held beliefs and values and individuals’ basic assumptions. During the crisis, decision making is pressured by perceived time constraints and colored by cognitive limitations. Effective crisis management involves minimizing potential risk before a triggering event. In response to a triggering event, effective crisis management involves improvising and interacting by key stakeholders so that individual and collective sense making, shared meaning, and roles are reconstructed. Following a triggering event, effective crisis management entails individual and organizational readjustment of basic assumptions, as well as behavioral and emotional responses aimed at recovery and readjustment. Pearson and Clair (1988) present a framework of the crisis-management process that allows for elements of success and failure and thus reduce the need for organizations to create cover-ups for imperfect decisions and actions. They state that it is only in detailing the “whole picture” that true learning and effective responsiveness takes place. The next section describes the context and methodology by which we will evaluate the propositions raised from the review of the relevant research. 10
  17. 17. 3. METHODOLOGY The work presented represents the first phase of a three-phased study that is organized as follows: Phase One – Review the literature pertaining to crisis leadership and crisis management. Evaluate the literature relevancy to studies of the organization and management of US transit agencies and management responsiveness to crisis events. Define and describe the structure of the research sample and develop a survey instrument for garnering information from transit managers. Phase Two – Test/revise and disseminate the survey to the sample transit agencies. The researchers will engage in face-to-face structured interviews as a follow-up of the survey with selected respondents across sample states and with varying municipality sizes. The results of the research will be summarized and submitted to the Urban Transit Institute. Phase Three – The researchers will seek opportunities to use the research to train and develop the crisis management skills and competencies of transit leaders under the auspices of the Urban Transit Institute. Data Description and Sample The data for Phase 1 of the study were extracted from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 2003 National Transit Database (NTD). The FTA collects and disseminates selected financial and operating data on the state of mass transportation in the United States and Puerto Rico. Transit agencies in Region 4 that reported data for the 2003 and operated transit bus fleets were selected for this study. States in Region 4 include: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. These states represent the southeastern portion of the United States. In Region 4, 86 transit agencies or transportation 11
  18. 18. authorities reported 2003 data to NTD. Of the total population, fifteen agencies were eliminated because (1) it was first year of reporting and data was insufficient; or (2) the agency did not operate transit busses. The sample size for the study includes 69 transit agencies. The following variables were analyzed for each mass transit agency to gain an overall understanding of the structure of the sample: Area served in square miles Number of vehicles for maximum service Service area population Average age of fleet Bus fare revenue; passenger miles Service efficiency Percentage of bus fare revenue Cost effectiveness Operating expense Service effectiveness The following descriptive data are presented about the sample. Bus % Sq. Miles Pop Bus fare total fare Fare Mean 374.8267 368443.1 3268175 4499489 0.771587 Standard Error 73.83355 45923.62 1005510 1545400 0.031647 Median 135 213253 709972 902728 0.897128 Mode 101 49381 121424 175170 1 # of Op Exp Pass Mile Vehicles Fleet Age Op/Mile Mean 14641568 21222633 81.98667 5.938667 3.8752 Standard Error 3844103 5514372 16.70052 0.320719 0.285624 Median 4052289 5624147 35 5.6 3.54 Mode 847910 1231507 19 4.1 3.8 S- S- Efficie1 Efficie2 C-Eff1 C-Eff2 S-Eff1 S-Eff2 Mean 3.8752 42.76067 4.298533 3.740267 1.249333 17.4172 Standard Error 0.285624 2.882726 1.642393 0.297244 0.079105 1.008771 Median 3.54 48.92 0.81 3.25 1.2 17.35 Mode 3.8 51.78 0.69 2.42 0.42 4.52 12
  19. 19. Preliminary Findings The analysis of 74 data points pertaining to the reported financial and operational data revealed the following attributes about the sample under investigation. 1. In comparison with the national transit data profile: a. the average age of the national bus fleet is older than that of Region 4 (6.8yrs/5.9yrs) b. average service efficiency (operating expense/vehicle revenue miler) for Region 4 was greater than that observed at the national level (Region 4, $3.63; National, $ 7.10) c. average cost effectiveness (operating expense/passenger trip) for Region 4 lagged the national performance profile of Region 4 (Region 4, $3.63; National, $2.60) d. the average service effectiveness (unlinked passenger trips/vehicle revenue mile) for Region 4 was greater than that observed at the national level (Region 4, $1.00; National, $2.70) 2. Observations by state were as follows: Florida (23), North Carolina (11), Georgia (11), South Carolina (7), Alabama (6), Tennessee (6), Kentucky (3), and Mississippi (2) As to agency size based on populations served, six agencies covered service populations exceeding one million residents. Included among these six agencies are Atlanta and Miami, which rank among the nations top twenty and encompass all modes of transit services. Ten agencies served populations between 500,000 and 1 million residents, and forty served populations between 100,000 and 499,000. Only ten transit agencies in the sample served populations under 100,000 residents. While bus service in the sample represented the predominate mode of transit services, key communities with diverse population groups tended to drive the average revenue generated based on bus service alone down to 73 percent. Numerous areas serving large senior populations had strong levels of service in the demand response mode. 13
  20. 20. Several transit agencies in Florida had designated services for senior citizens only, and the mode of transit service delivery for these communities is primarily demand response. Atlanta, Miami, and Tampa offered significant rail services. Other significant modes of transportation offered by the transit agencies in the sample were vanpool and automated gateway. 14
  21. 21. 4. CONCLUSION The public transportation infrastructure of America’s communities has a significant influence on national economic development and productivity. Professionals, students, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and the rank and file of the country’s work force have come to expect reliable, safe, and affordable transit services. Recent disruptions in these services caused by the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the natural disasters from hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires, and labor strikes that put most of New York City on foot during the height of the 2005 Christmas season force us to examine how transit leaders prepare for crisis events. The research discussed here indicates that crises can come on suddenly as the 9/11 attack occurred. However, many of the crises are undergirded by neglected smoldering issues that suddenly erupt into predictable surprises. We must begin to examine these concerns from an interdisciplinary perspective, giving full consideration to the psychological, social, organizational, and political matters that serve as root causes of some of the most spectacular failures. Crisis research as a field of study is evolving rapidly toward an interdisciplinary model of discovery. Such an approach requires careful study and analysis, and in the work we propose to undertake during Phase Two will require face-to-face interactions with leaders who are entrusted with managing organizations at the core of the American economy. 15
  22. 22. 5. RESEARCH DISSEMINATION Results from this study will be presented at a future Urban Transit Institute research showcase. The principal investigators will disseminate their findings through the Newsletter of the North Carolina Public Transit Association (NCPTA) and will make the research available to NCPTA members in electronic format. 16
  23. 23. REFERENCES Alter, J. (2005). The other America: An enduring shame. Newsweek, September 19, 2005, 42-48. Bazerman, M.H., & Watkins, M.E. (2004). Predictable surprises: The disasters you should have seen coming, and how to prevent them. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Boin, A., & Hart, P. (2003). Public leadership in times of crisis: Mission impossible? Public Administration Review, 63 (5), 544-555. Cyert, R. & March, J. G. (1963). A Behavioral Theory of the Firm. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Fox, J. (2005). A meditation on risk: The lessons of the storm. Fortune, October 3, 2005, 50-62. Hesselbein, F. (2002). Crisis management: A leadership imperative. Leader to Leader, 26 (Fall), 4-5. Horsley, J.S., & Barker, R.T. (2002). Toward a synthesis model for crisis communication in the public sector. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 16 (4), 406-440. Janis, I. L. (1989). Crucial decision: Leadership in policymaking and crisis management. New York: The Free Press. March, J. G. & Simon, H. A. (1958). Organizations. New York, NY: Wiley. Mitroff, I.I., & Harrington, L.K. (1996). Think about the unthinkable. Across the Board, 33 (8), September, 44-48. Nomani, A.Q. (1996). Clinton proposes measures to combat terrorism. Wall Street Journal, B.4. Pearson, C.M., & Clair, J.A. (1998). Reframing crisis management. Academy of Management Review, 23 (1), 59-76. Pearson, C.M., & Mitroff, I.I. (1993). From crisis prone to crisis prepared: A framework for crisis management. Academy of Management Executive, 7 (1), 48-59. 17
  24. 24. Quarantelli, E. L. (1998). Major Criteria for Judging Disaster Planning and Managing Their Applicability in Developing Societies. Newark, DE: Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware. Richardson, B. (1993). Why we need to teach crisis management and to use case studies to do it. Management Education & Development, 24 (2), 138-148. Ugboro, I.O., & Obeng, K. (2005). Strategic planning effectiveness in public transit agencies. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Urban Transit Institute. White House commission on aviation safety and security. (1997) Washington, DC: White House. Retrieved from 18
  25. 25. APPENDIX A FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION REGION 4 Alabama Florida Georgia Kentucky Mississippi North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee 1
  26. 26. APPENDIX B PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY SAMPLE Source 2003 National Transit Database ID Num Agency Name 4001 Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority 4002 Knoxville Area Transit 4003 Memphis Area Transit Authority 4004 Metropolitan Transit Authority 4005 Asheville Transit System 4006 Wilmington Transit Authority 4007 Capital Area Transit 4008 Charlotte Area Transit System 4009 Fayetteville Area System of Transit 4011 High Point Transit 4012 Winston-Salem Transit Authority - Trans-Aid of Forsyth County 4014 Coast Transit Authority 4015 City of Jackson Transit System 4017 Lexington Transit Authority 4018 Transit Authority of River City 4019 Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky 4021 Albany Transit System 4022 Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority 4023 Augusta Richmond County Transit Department 4024 Metra Transit System 4025 Chatham Area Transit Authority 4026 Manatee County Area Transit 4027 Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority 4028 Lee County Transit 4029 Broward County Mass Transit Division 4030 Gainesville Regional Transit System 4031 Lakeland Area Mass Transit District 4032 County of Volusia, dba: VOTRAN 4034 Miami-Dade Transit 4035 Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority 4036 City of Tallahassee 4037 Board of County Commissioners, Palm Beach County 4038 Escambia County Area Transit 4040 Jacksonville Transportation Authority 4041 Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority 4042 Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority 4043 Metro Transit 2
  27. 27. APPENDIX B PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY SAMPLE Source 2003 National Transit Database ID Num Agency Name 4044 Montgomery Area Transit System 4045 Tuscaloosa County Parking and Transit Authority 4046 Sarasota County Area Transit 4047 Athens Transit System 4051 Chapel Hill Transit 4053 Greenville Transit Authority 4054 Johnson City Transit System 4056 Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority 4057 Jackson Transit Authority 4058 City of Rome Transit Department 4063 Space Coast Area Transit 4071 City of Huntsville, Alabama - Public Transportation Division 4073 Lee-Russell Council of Governments 4074 Pasco County Public Transportation 4078 Cobb County Department of Transportation Authority 4085 Bay County Council On Aging Bay Coordinated Transportation 4087 Durham Area Transit Authority 4093 Greensboro Transit Authority 4097 Council on Aging of St. Lucie, Inc. 4100 Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority 4101 Spartanburg Transit System 4102 Waccamaw Regional Transportation Authority 4104 Indian River County Council on Aging, Inc. 4108 Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation Authority 4110 Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority 4120 SunTran 4127 Polk County Transit Services Division - Polk County Board 4128 Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners 4130 Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority 4135 Georgia Regional Transportation Authority 4138 Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners 4141 Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority 4142 City of Canton Transit 3
  28. 28. APPENDIX C CRISIS MANAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE Please review the following data and update as necessary: Name: Service Area Square Miles: Service Area Population: Annual Passenger Miles: Vehicles Operated in Maximum Service: Total Fare Revenue: Number of Employees: _____________ Estimated Operating Budget: ______________ I. Crisis Overview Questions (Please provide descriptive responses): 1. Has a crisis-based disruption of service occurred within the jurisdiction during the last five years? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 2. How long did it take to restore the transit system to full operational status following the crisis? Was the service restored in stages? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 3. On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), how serious would you judge the crisis to have been? Were lives lost or endangered? Were there physical or financial losses? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 4. Looking back, have you/staff been able to identify any indicators that may have signaled an impending crisis? If so, please explain what the indicators were and why they may have been overlooked prior to the incident (e.g., lack of resources, lack of training, etc.). ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 4
  29. 29. 5. What would you estimate as the recovery costs associated with the crisis? Please consider financial costs and the costs associated with reputation for reliability, reputation as a desired workplace, etc. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ II. Crisis Management (CM) System (Please provide descriptive responses) 6. Do you have a CM system or organization in place? If so, please describe in general terms (e.g., is there a CM leader? Is there a CM team?) ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 7. What individuals (by title or organization) were involved in designing the CM system? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 8. Has the CM system been tested? How often? In general, what were the results of the test? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 9. Does the transit system work with any other public or private agencies to conduct the CM testing and/or implementation of the system? Please provide the names of other agencies used. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 10. Does the transit system have individual safety roles (i.e., within the CM do specific individuals have key roles? Does the transit system reciprocate safety roles for other agencies identified in question 9?) ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 11. Please describe the training opportunities offered to persons who participate in the transit’s CM system. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 5
  30. 30. 12. Have the necessary physical resources required by the CM system been secured (e.g., chemical protective gear, triage or other health care centers, etc.)? Please describe the types of physical resources on hand. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 13. Has the current CM system been developed to deal with the “worst case” scenario? If not, why do you think this is so? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 14. To what extents have new technologies played a role in the CM system? Please explain. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 15. Is there a process in place to capture and retain information about “lessons learned” from the experience gained during crisis events? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 16. Using percentage estimates noted below, how would you characterize the readiness of your unit in the event of a crisis situation? < 25% ready__ 25% to 50% ready__ 50% to 75% ready__ 75% to 90% ready__ >90%__ II. Crisis Leadership (Please provide descriptive responses) 17. Who led the initiative to implement a CM system? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 18. To what extent was the individual or individual involved in the planning and/or implementation of the CM system? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 19. Is the individual(s) still involved with the transit system? Is the person(s) involved in the CM system? Please indicate current capacity and duties. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 6
  31. 31. 20. Who would you consider to be the current “champion” of the CM initiative? In what manner does this individual demonstrate CM leadership? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 21. Did the past or current champion of the CM initiative have any specific training in (1) crisis management, (2) transit safety, or (3) leadership? Please explain. ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 22. How did the leader secure resources necessary to implement the CM system? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 23. Was financing for the CM system secured as a one-time allotment or is there a continuing CM budget? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 24. To what extent did the CM leader or team encounter political or other resistance towards the implementation of a CM system? Was there ever any evidence of a belief structure that “it will never happen here”? Was there ever any conflict between demands or expectations of diverse transit stakeholders? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 25. How has the leader prepared his or her staff for the emotional and psychological outcomes of a crisis event on employees and the community? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 26. How would you describe the transit organization’s management style (e.g., flat team- based leadership, strong hierarchy, highly political, etc.)? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 27. On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), how would you describe the access CM leader(s) have to mission critical information? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 7
  32. 32. 28. What lessons have you learned from the process of CM implementation? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 29. What lessons have you learned from previous crisis events? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 30. How have persons who previously resisted the CM system responded to the implementation? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Additional Notes from the Researchers: Dr. Vereda King and Dr. Wanda Lester would like to meet with you personally, and we will be visiting the following states during the weeks indicated below. If you are willing to meet with either of us for a personal interview during the week that we will be visiting your locale, please indicate the time and date below. We assure you that we will not require more than approximately 45 minutes of your time. State Week Please Indicate Availability Tennessee March 21-24 Kentucky March 21-24 Mississippi March 21-24 North Carolina March 28-March 31 South Carolina March 28-March 31 Alabama March 28-March 31 Georgia April 4-April 7 Florida April 4-April 7 We are very grateful for your time and thoughtfulness in responding to this questionnaire. Below please indicate your full name, title, and address so that we can send a token of our appreciation for your prompt response. Name _____________________________________ Title ______________________________________ Address____________________________________ ___________________________________________ ___________________________________________ 8
  33. 33. North Carolina A&T State University is a land-grant doctoral/research intensive institution and an AA/EEO employer.