All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Business Administration (MBA)


College of Business & Professional Studies

Degree Program



Business Administration


catastrophe, industrial disaster, India, litigation, management


Crisis management is not a new concept. However, because more and more corporate crises are appearing in the headlines every day, "crisis management" is becoming the new corporate "buzzword."

The recent corporate crisis which seems to have made corporations take more notice of the concept of crisis management is Union Carbide's Bhopal, India plant disaster in December, 1984. This Bhopal disaster has been described as the "worst industrial disaster the world has ever known."

Since the Union Carbide-Bhopal disaster, many corporations are seeing that a similar catastrophe could happen to them. Union Carbide's Bhopal crisis, along with other recent corporate crises, have changed the way corporations are viewing crisis management. Corporations are beginning to look at ways they can become better prepared to manage a crisis if and when they are hit by one.

I believe by looking at the way Union Carbide has managed the "worst industrial disaster ever," and ways Union Carbide could have better managed this crisis, a better understanding of true crisis management can be achieved.

In this thesis, I will first look at the major types of crises which have been identified, their effect on companies generally and how companies can better prepare to manage a crisis when it occurs. I will then look at the Union Carbide-Bhopal disaster, how it has been managed by Union Carbide and how this disaster has affected Union Carbide's operations and reputation.

I will then discuss the ways the Bhopal disaster has affected the way other companies are now thinking about crisis management and steps they are taking to minimize the possibility of a similar crisis happening to them.

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