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Disaster Management and ResponseResearch Paper

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Managing Communications During Nuclear Emergencies

In this study we will look at the various dynamics and components of a large project and its management with respect to risk communication with a variety of stakeholders of a nuclear emergency situation.

Stakeholder management in Programs

Building a Team

Team Building for Large Programs

Communication Team building in case of Nuclear Emergency

Supply Chain Management in Large Programs

Risk Management for Nuclear Emergency Communication

Integrated Information Systems and Knowledge Management

Performance measurement: earned value management

One of the most important challenges in the management of energy is communication which has been highlighted by previous nuclear accidents and emergencies. While improving the response of the population, effective communication in the early stages of a nuclear emergency helps in increasing of awareness and the understanding of the protective actions that are required to be employed. This is advised in the short-term or as an immediate communication necessity in case of a nuclear emergency. The process of remediation and the return to normal life is made possible through effective risk communication with the stakeholders in the medium and long-term range (Perko, 2011).

A central role in this aspect is played by the mass media. The latest nuclear emergency that took place in Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan has brought to light the importance of communication as the incident had induced massive coverage in the media (Perko, Turcanu, and Geenen, 2012). At the contamination phase, the various mass media were used to communicate with the general population and other stakeholders and, later on, played an important role in the cleanup and the recovery stage as well. It needs to be however remembered that for commercial purposes, the media often regards "bad news is good news" and this problem has to be tackled with the overall objective of effective risk communication to help people cope with a nuclear emergency (Perko, Turcanu, and Geenen, 2012).

The above discussion makes it clear that risk communication during a nuclear emergency is a major program and should not thus be considered as a small project. The resources and effort required for this are huge and the time period of the communication, as is evident from the discussions, is also significantly larger. The size and number of stakeholders and stakeholder groups involved are also significantly large. Thus, crisis communication in a nuclear emergency requires a program management approach and should not simply be restricted to as a communication project as it is huge and complex and has to deal with complex issues of lives and livelihood of people now as well for the future generation (Levin and Green, 2014).

Special care is needed first to define a risk communication program and as experts put it, such a program should constitute of a group of projects that are related and implemented in a coordinated manner to achieve a specific result. Hence, it can be said that while projects can exist without programs, it is not the other way around. Generally, program management is a process that is centralized and the various smaller parts of projects are coordinated centrally to achieve a preset desired outcome. Governance, infrastructure, management, financial management, infrastructure, and planning are all important components of a program. Strategic goals are met with a concrete structure and guidance for project prioritization which is provided by a program (Thiry, 2010). The resolving of resource constraints, implementing change management and maintaining the strategic direction that influences the direction of the project help program managers to determine the best approach for managing smaller projects. In this study, we will look at the various dynamics and components of a large project and its management with respect to risk communication with a variety of stakeholders of a nuclear emergency situation.

Justification for Selection

Stakeholder management in Programs

The specific people of groups that have an active interest or a stake in the final outcome of a program are defined as stakeholders. While such stakeholders can be from within a company or an organization -- known as internal stakeholders, they are also placed outside of the organization -- known as external stakeholders and are directly or indirectly impacted by the activities of the organization or company or entity. Internal stakeholders ca include groups like program Sponsor, the steering committee, the governance board, etc. while the external stakeholders can be groups such as the suppliers, investors, the local and extended community and groups and even government organizations (Eskerod and Jepsen, 2013).

Due to its size and complex nature, there are generally many stakeholders in a program. Stakeholders are identified through what is termed as a stakeholder analysis and the results are noted down for the creation of a Stakeholder Management Plan. It is generally the centralized office of an organization or company that formulates a stakeholder management strategy. The approach and the overall activation of the stakeholder management plan are proactively guided and managed at the program level.

Despite the fact that programs constitute of a number of smaller plans or projects, the projects themselves do not create any of their own stakeholder management plans since that can create chaos and result in disjointed communication (Levin and Green, 2014). However for a program to be successful the projects also need to be successful and the stakeholder management process should also be evaluated and implemented at the project management level even though it is not formed at the project level.

It is critical to ensure the identification and analyze each of the stakeholders. The analysis is generally done on the basis of the impact that the stakeholder can have on the outcome of the program and the involvement of the stakeholder in the overall program success and implementation (Bertsch et al., 2006). A fault in stakeholder identification and analysis can result in derailment of a program. The figure below shows a programming environment and the typical types of stakeholders that form part of a program.

(Source: Barron & Barron Project Management for Scientists and Engineers)

The figure illustrates how program managers shave to deal with stakeholders who are internal as well as external to an organization.

A stakeholder analysis is the first step in the process of management of stakeholders. This is done through the stakeholder analysis which is essentially the assessment of a program's key participants and the manner in which the program would be affected by their problems and needs. It also involves the identification of the individual characteristics and interests of the interest groups and the factors of motivation as well as the factors that provoke them. The roles and degree of participation are also analyzed along with the determination of any potential are conflicts of interest between the groups of stakeholders. It is also important to define success from the viewpoint of the stakeholders (Bertsch et al., 2006).

Given below is a typical stakeholder assessment format that is used by organizations and companies to assess the importance of stakeholders.

(Source: www.svprojectmanagement.com)

After this exercise, the stakeholder management plans to engage and communicate with the stakeholders begin. The communications to stakeholders should be made according to the management plan. Apart from the above-mentioned results obtained from the stakeholder analysis, the communication plan requires taking into account the culture of the stakeholders. This helps in deciding what type of messages and message content to be communicated, the best-suited medium of communication and how and when to communicate.

The importance of communicating effectively with the stakeholders was evident in the early stage planning and execution of the High Speed 2 project of the Transport Department of the British government. In a report prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General for the transport department notes: "There are particular risks for the Department if it fails to effectively meet or manage stakeholders' expectations" (Comptroller and Auditor General, UK, 2013). This reiterates the importance of communicating well with the stakeholders for large projects the High Speed 2 project is amongst the largest of the transport projects in the UK and has a large array of stakeholders. realizing the initial problem, the department appointed a single stakeholder manager for the High-Speed Rail team to improve stakeholder management in a few areas. The stakeholder manager would be responsible for working with the local authorities and other stakeholders at the stations being built for the high-speed line.

In the case of a nuclear emergency, the communication with the stakeholders becomes very critical initially to take preventive measures and later in clearing operations and rehabilitation. There a number of stakeholders in the nuclear emergency scenario. The first and the most important are the people in the community that surround the emergency location. These are the stakeholders who are directly and most affected by an incident of a nuclear emergency (Perko, 2011). The other stakeholders include the government and regulatory authorities who are entrusted with the job of the legality of a nuclear installation (www.oecd-nea.org, 2016).

The environmentalists and other peer groups are another important stakeholders. The internal stakeholders for a nuclear company include the shareholders and as… [END OF PREVIEW]

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