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Learning from "Bird Flu" - How the Hong Kong Government Learnt to Deal with a Crisis  
Product Ref: 02/150C Company: HK SAR Government

Product Type: Case Industry: Public Sector & Non-Profit

Related Product(s): Teaching Note
Authors: Gilbert Wong   Millie Kwan   Mary Ho
Hong Kong's first avian flu crisis started in March 1997, when close to 7,000 chickens on three rural farms were wiped out by an H5 strain. To contain the outbreak, the Hong Kong Government ordered a mass slaughter of all poultry. Altogether, the first outbreak led to 18 confirmed H5N1 cases in humans, resulting in six deaths. The decision to slaughter the chickens was controversial at the time. Poor co-ordination and inefficiency characterised the first cull, and damaged the Hong Kong Government's credibility. The crisis put pressure on the Chief Executive, Mr. Tung Chee-wah, to find new solutions to curb the avian flu. Against the background of the first bird flu crisis, the Environment and Food Bureau and the Hong Kong Government faced repeated bird flu outbreaks in May 2001 and February 2002. There was a sense of deja vu about these crises with the recurrence of the avian flu, there was an opportunity for the Hong Kong Government to show the public how it had learnt to manage the continuing crises. This case examines how learning from crisis can be maximised, and how to build the expectation for learning into crisis management plans. It also identifies the barriers to effective crisis management and crisis learning.
Functional Area : Human Resource Management
Strategy & General Management

Issues: Crisis Management, Crisis Learning, Organisational Learning
Length: 19 pages Country: Hong Kong SAR

Pub. Year: 2002 Level of Difficulty: 1
This product type is available in the following language(s):      English
Related Information: see also "Crisis Communication: The Asian Bird Flu" (ref. 98/11C).
This case is UGC funded.
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Case (02/150C) HK$58 / US$7.5
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