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Communication Management and Trust: Their Role in Building Resilience to “Surprises” Such As Natural Disasters, Pandemic Flu, and Terrorism

P. H. Longstaff, Syracuse University
Sung-Un Yang, Syracuse University


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In times of public danger such as natural disasters and health emergencies, a country’s communication systems will be some of its most important assets because access to information will make individuals and groups more resilient. Communication by those charged with dealing with the situation is often critical. We analyzed reports from a wide variety of crisis incidents and found a direct correlation between trust and an organization’s preparedness and internal coordination of crisis communication and the effectiveness of its leadership. Thus, trust is one of the most important variables in effective communication management in times of “surprise.”

Key words

communication; disasters; resilience; trust

Copyright © 2008 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087