Essays on Crisis Management: Dreamworld Leisure Park Case Study

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The paper "Crisis Management: Dreamworld Leisure Park" is a wonderful example of a case study on management. The role of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Board in crisis management may not be considered as the fundamental basis on which the success of companies is premised until a disaster or catastrophe comes. The case study of Dreamworld Leisure Park on the Gold Coast calls for the need to consider the diversity of perspectives as well as tolerance of dissent as there remains an impetus in making decisions on crisis management.

Recent studies that have investigated the collapse of corporate institutions have suggested the need to reevaluate the roles of management and specifically, CEO and the board in designing an approach that manages crises (Hufnagel, 2016). As researches on crisis management continue to grow, this assignment critically assesses the Dreamworld Leisure Park crisis, and if Deborah Thomas, the CEO and the Board of Directors had roles to play in averting the crisis that led to the loss of four lives. Communication Frailties at Dreamworld Leisure Park The crisis at Dreamworld Leisure Park calls for the investigation of the roles of CEOs and directors in the prevention of crises as it occurred.

Studies such as Klabbers (2015) argue that communication is one of the roles of CEOs and boards that would want to ensure that the functions and duties of corporate move smoothly. Going by recent researches in management communication in the corporate world, it is clear that Deborah Thomas and the Board of Directors failed to apply the theory of communicative actions prior to the crisis at the organization. Communication frailty calls for the role of CEOs and the board to play oversight roles in monitoring the organization’ s management and performance of the plant.

The case presents a situation where the flume flipped when it came in contact with another carriage towards the end of the ride. According to Howes et al. (2015), in some cases, the board and in particular, top management fail to take identify real challenges that affect the functioning of an organization especially when it comes to the one demanding for the attention of the board. In as much as the case was accidental, it calls for the investigation of the roles of Deborah Thomas in developing vivid language which would have helped workers at the plant to create strong, distinct, clear, and memorable mental images regarding disaster preparedness and management. The investigation revealed that Dreamworld Leisure Park had established several subsidiaries through which created confusion on the role of junior employees (Hanrahan et al. , 2016).

Additionally, the bottom line of the investigation showed that there were communication complexities that emanated from other areas such as employees and competing companies.

The outcome of the Dreamworld Leisure Park case the failure of the board and top management in creating cognitive dissonance and misaligning communication approaches as an aversive motivational. What occurred as a result of these management approaches is the creation of a corporate institution where junior employees entertain two or more contradictory attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors simultaneously regarding crisis management. Corporate Governance Structure There is a general consensus among scholars such as Grunwald and Bearman (2017) that CEOs and the Board have the role of ensuring that there is a streamlined corporate governance structure as a process of dealing with crises.

One principle of crisis management is to follow the Gestalt theory of management where context should be seen to matter to the top management team including the fact that whole is greater than the sum of the parts (Klabbers, 2015). What Dreamworld Leisure Park could have seen and how the board and the CEO could have seen mattered for the aversion of the crisis. Contextualizing this point, putting corporate governance structure means the CEOs and the Board demonstrating unrestrained commitments to developing as well as maintaining a strong safety culture across the entire department.

To conclude on this matter, the roles of CEOs and the Board have moved from being overseers to the specialized dimensional approaches they are expected to deal with theories, methodologies, and organizational demands. Within the context of Dreamworld Leisure Park, CEOs and the Board are tasked with the responsibility of providing a strategic management approach that predicts crisis. According to Grunwald and Bearman (2017), a strategic management approach that predicts crisis is the process through which experiences are shared on the basis of commonness.

The essence of commonality is of great importance to the organization as the programs of the organization are therefore likely to be executed from a common point of communication for the overall whole of the numerous components and sensing the onset of a crisis. 1.0.                  Strategic Corporate Governance CEOs and the Board are supposed to act in a manner that suits the interest of the company and the general public. Hanrahan et al. (2016) term this as a fiduciary relationship in the corporate world where the CEOs and the board have the responsibility of adopting a managing approach that will guide both the interest of the company and the welfare of the general public.

The contextualizing this argument, the extent to which Deborah Thomas made decisions could be guided by the Board and importantly, the relationship between the board, the public, the CEO and the company should be have been mutual so that crises are detected and averted on time. The argument regarding the fiduciary relationship between the three parties mentioned is that CEOs and the board have the role of strategic corporate governance in the process of crisis management.

Recent studies have indicated that crisis management calls for the board and the CEOs to serve the interest of the general public. Citing Corporate Governance Council recommendations, Grunwald and Bearman (2017) noted that top managers of corporate institutions, including the board and the CEOs, have the responsibility of ensuring the quality of information within their companies---meaning that they have to perform oversight roles periodically. The point of concern from the Corporate Governance Council recommendation is how the board and the CEOs can fulfill their duties and a framework that can be laid to detect and prevent a crisis.

From the Dreamworld Leisure Park case, the board and the CEO were supposed to deal with conflicts of interest emerging from the company. Specifically, this touches on issues such as accountabilities and transparency especially when it comes to the operations and maintenance of the machines that ultimately led to the crisis. On the other hand, Klabbers (2015) observes that the roles of CEOs and the board in strategic corporate governance and specifically, in crisis management should entail the primary role of acting in good faith and in the organization’ s best interest.

Making this point practically, the investigation into the catastrophe or crisis in Dreamworld Leisure Park noted that Deborah failed to make decisions concerning the costs and benefits of implementing safety measures. From the onset, Dreamworld Leisure Park was already undertaking risks appetites as well as failing to put in place processes that were going to help Dreamworld Leisure Park assess strategic risks.   This point was put in perspective by recent studies from Hufnagel (2016) who noted that the role of CEOs and the board has transformed and as such, CEOs and the board should not consider corporate governance and crisis management as just compliance box-ticking instead, they have the role of ensuring that good crisis management is part of their mindset when undertaking their duties.

That is, they are obligated to ensure that the company is involved in a culture of good governance. 2.0.                  Outlining Structures for Corporate Performance Better corporate performance and corporate governance are two paths that remain contested but define specific roles of CEOs and the board in preventing the accident that occurred at Dreamworld Leisure Park.

A research study that took case studies on recent corporate failures including the case of Parmalat noted that the role of the board in minimizing crisis includes outlining management structures that detail the roles and responsibility of every manager including CEOs (Hufnagel, 2016). The position this study take is that better corporate governance when streamlined by the board will in most cases, lead to better corporate performance which in turn, will ensure that crisis is not only managed but detected and decisions are laid on how to control them.

In connection with Dreamworld Leisure Park, the role of the CEO and the board ought to have been devising a method that works on better corporate governance instead of better corporate performance which would have helped in independent board committee that would be in charge of vising the site, checking all equipment and advising on proper steps to be followed to avoid the crisis. 3.0.                  Conclusion The aim of this assignment was to critically evaluate the role of the CEO and the board in crisis management taking a case study of the recent accident in Dreamworld Leisure Park.

Drawing on different theoretical models and management practices, this paper found that the scope of the roles of CEOs and the board remains multifaceted. As coalescing to the Dreamworld Leisure Park case, strategic decision making remains essential in the management of crisis and the best way of adapting to the dynamism that has been exhibited in organizational crisis management. However, transformational or transactional management approaches are still needed in corporate organizations so as to deal with emerging crises and change in leadership.


Grunwald, J. A., & Bearman, C. (2017). Identifying and resolving coordinated decision making breakdowns in emergency management. International Journal of Emergency Management, 13(1), 68-86.

Hanrahan, P., Ramsay, I. and Stapledon, G. (2016). Commercial Applications of Company Law. Wolters Kluwer CCH, 17th edition. ISBN 9780190304362.

Howes, M., Tangney, P., Reis, K., Grant-Smith, D., Heazle, M., Bosomworth, K., & Burton, P. (2015). Towards networked governance: Improving interagency communication and collaboration for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in Australia. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 58(5), 757-776.

Hufnagel, S. (2016). Policing cooperation across borders: comparative perspectives on law enforcement within the EU and Australia. Routledge.

Klabbers, J. (2015). The EJIL Foreword: The Transformation of International Organizations Law. European Journal of International Law, 26(1), 9-82.

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