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Multi-Hazard Disaster in Japan

Part of the Pentalemma Series on Managing Global Dilemmas

Dylan Scudder

Against the backdrop of an increasingly globalized business environment, this book provides readers with a pragmatic approach to international management of complex issues that arise from the tension between financial goals and social imperatives. If the challenge of management is making decisions in situations of uncertainty, Multi-Hazard Disaster in Japan is the ultimate test of finding business solutions in extremely volatile situations. Based on firsthand experience and years of rigorous research, this book leverages a real-world case of a global company responding to a historical mega-disaster to let readers experience defining moments of managing with limited information, time pressure and a dwindling budget. Almost as if "parachuting" into an escalating disaster scenario, readers form critical relationships with characters that introduce them to management tools and techniques they need to arrive at a successful conclusion. The excitement and intensity of Multi-Hazard Disaster in Japan equips business leaders of today and tomorrow with valuable know-how they can apply to the uncertainties of everyday business in an international context.

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2. Strategy and Tactics

Extract

Chapter Two

Strategy and Tactics

As part of a Pentalemma Inc. crisis advisory team led by Sylvia Phillips, you are working on your second assignment to Brighter Brand Japan (BBJ), which is still struggling with various stakeholder issues ten days after the earthquake and tsunami. You and your colleagues continue to help BBJ find creative solutions that satisfy as many of their stakeholders as possible.

As mainstream agencies such as the government and the UN have now grasped the situation, the need for emergency relief from the private sector has diminished. The question facing Kelvin Reed and his Board is about broader long-term engagement. He sees a case for continued involvement, as there is plenty more work to do. An immediate example presents itself in the form of a request for help in refurbishing a tsunami-damaged water purification plant at Saiki, in Oita prefecture. This can be viewed either as a straightforward commercial matter or an opportunity for BBJ to continue its philanthropic work. Whatever BBJ does, it must follow the standards of its parent company, Brighter Brand Group.

The question concerning the water plant is tricky because this kind of activity is normally mainstream business for BBJ. The company has a well-respected engineering arm that undertakes such work across Japan. The absence of clean water is an obvious environmental and health hazard affecting hundreds of thousands of people. The moral and business dilemma is complicated by the role of Civil Solutions...

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