China Steel Corporation (CSC) was established in 1971. As all employees having been toiling together, has gradually forged itself as an affirmed enterprise group. During the late 1980s, the increasing civil awareness of environmental protection has caused mass and continuous violent protests. In view of this, CSC, a state-owned company then, abided by the Government policy to strengthen good relations with communities, established communication channels with the Legislative Yuan, the congress in Taiwan, and the media, so as to reinforce the communication with the stakeholders and improve crisis management effectiveness. In April 1988, CSC’s Public Relations Office was established to promote public relations-related activities. It was renamed as Public Affairs Office after the privatization of CSC in 1995. During this evolutional process of environmental civil rights the author was fortunate enough to grow up together with CSC, and participated in many cases of crisis management. Experience shows that the first priority of crisis management is crisis prevention, and the highest level of crisis management is to transform the crisis into opportunity. Otherwise, a corporate will pay a significant price, and compromise its image. Realizing the importance of crisis prevention and management to a corporate, the author selects this issue as a research subject.
This study is based on the process of crisis management proposed by Mitroff & Pearson as the main theoretical framework. The five stages proposed include (a) signal detection, (b) probing and prevention, (c) damage containment, (d) recovery, (e) learning. This study adopts the case analysis and depth interviews as research method, supplemented by literature review in order to verify both the practice and theory to be coherent and consistent. Two cases, foreign labor event of K Corporation and fire accident of C Corporation are studied by depth interviews with experts in crisis management of CSC Group. In addition, this study particularly strengthens the design of the interview to make the research more complete and satisfactory. This study selects the people with practical experience in these events as the interviewee. Through depth interviews, this study tries to present a more objective view of these events from the aspects of scope, depth.
From the case study, it is found that most companies neglect the concept of crisis prevention, however, pay much attention to handling the crises instead. As a result, these companies have to pay more cost and price for their ignorance of crisis prevention. Study also found that over the past twenty years, there were several occurrences of crises in CSC Group companies. Substantial compensation has never been the case occurred. However, C Corporation was obliged to compensate as the company’s event of fire, which brings the CSC Group serious sequela and potential crisis, and as a result, increases the difficulties of crisis management. This study tries to provide some recommendations that would be helpful for CSC Group and other businesses for their reference and in establishing systems of crisis prevention and crisis management.