Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Decision Support Systems

A Decision Support Systems (DDS) assist in reducing time needed in manual searching of information. DSS gives the ability for results to be returned at faster than human speeds. DSS is a flexible interactive IT system designed to assist non-structured decision making problems. Advantages of DSS include, increased productivity, understanding, speed, flexibility, and reduced cost. DSSs are information systems that support decision-making processes. Objective of DSSs is to enhance the effectiveness of decision-makers. Functions that DSS assist with include data storage, retrieval, manipulation, and small calculations. A crucial point of DSS is its ability to react to changes and situations quickly. DSS can be used to assist in solving many different promising diverse alternatives to problems.
DSS is when an individual performs decision related task. The goal of DSSs is to assist the decision maker in improving their effectiveness. Enhancing the decision maker’s insights and knowledge does this. Decision-making is dependent upon knowing past, present, and likely future situations. Information systems should have the ability to forecast the future based on probability.
Often a DSS will incorporate an expert system (ES). While a DSS requires the decision maker to have knowledge and expertise about the situation, an ES only requires facts and symptoms to provide solutions to problems. In a replacement role, an ES helps with improving efficiency of decision makers. ES tools are used to mainly support and assist with problems and not replace the decision maker. ES is a system that assists with reaching conclusions based on reasoning. These types of systems are useful for diagnostic and prescriptive type problems. In a support role, an ES can be known as an expert advisory. DSS generally has three components: model management, data management, and user interface management. Model management provides information to the decision makers. Data management assists with customer and product information. User interface management helps the decision makers access the information. ES tools, if used to replace human decision makers, have been shown to be just as effective, if not better than a human. Organizations should not rely on ES tools to improve the efficiency of the decision maker. 
The marketing firm that I am researching could use DSS to analyze its customer marketing performance and create effective strategies based on that information. Considering the organization uses tracking and monitoring tools to view its customer data, it should use DSS to highlight opportunities for each unique customer. Currently, its customers each have similar goals and processes that are used to generate sales. However, with implementing DSS, it could help in developing unique plans and goals for the customers instead of one universal marketing method. 

Mailerlite Refund Policy and Reviews

If you’ve ever tried to use an email marketing campaign software, they all have their policies and guidelines. But, should you be subjected to those policies if you never actually send a campaign? Obviously, I talk a lot about the can-spam act in my other entries and making certain that you don’t send an email to someone that never signed up to receive that email. It’s just wrong and can get your email or server shut down if it happens too often.

However, Mailerlite, a company that I recently tried uploading a list to, took this a step further with their policy. Mailerlite will charge you for the number of contacts you want to send your email to and then decide if they actually want to offer you their email marketing service. You see the problem? First, you pay Mailerlite, then they may let you play if THEY decide. Of course, at their discretion and if they like your email list. Because, if they don’t… well, there goes your money. No service is included on your way to a canceled account.

We recently tried to use Mailerlite by uploading an email marketing campaign and purchasing the 10k user tier from Mailerlite. Due to the number of contacts, Mailerlite support and policy needed to approve the 10k list first, which was ok and responsible for Mailerlite to protect their servers. But, here is where it gets manipulated by Mailerlite- in asking for a refund because the company did not default us to sending to a list of 10k, the company did not want to award us the refund. Instead of giving a refund because they couldn’t offer us what we wanted, they instead changed the target to, “well, tell us more about the people you intend to email in this list you have.” As if the list were important, which it should not have been considering we had only reached out to Mailerlite to cancel our account because we had no intentions of using it. At this point, we figured we’d tell them the list was from our partner company, which we found was against their policy. But, again, it shouldn’t matter because we never intended to use Mailerlite’s email marketing service at this point.

Instead of offering a refund, Mailerlite decides to take advantage of this opportunity and states they weren’t going to offer a refund because our list was not approved and went against their policy and refund policy. We understood and asked for a refund as no campaign was actually sent. At that point, Mailerlite continued to argue it was against their policy to provide a refund because the list we uploaded was no good and went against their policy.

Obviously, this didn’t make any sense considering no campaign was actually sent from Mailerlite and we had only uploaded a list of contacts and wanted to cancel the order and not actually use Mailerlite’s service at all. So, why would Mailerlite decide to not refund and then cancel our account for a service we never used and a Mailerlite policy/term we never broke. Where was the harm done? Moreover, why would Mailerlite manipulate the situation as if we hadn’t already asked for cancelation of the order.

My review for Mailerlite email service is 0/5 for their support and policies and fraudulent activity. It seems that Mailerlite’s policy is to steal money and give back at their discretion. Or, should we blame ourselves for telling Mailerlite the truth?

If you’re interested in Mailerlite as a service, use only their free tier. Do not give Mailerlite your money else you jeopardize your campaign and time again Mailerlite’s refund policy.

Quick and Easy Marketing Methods

Newsletters should be branded if you intend to share company news and not get lost amongst the spam. Temper the marketing tone of your messages by integrating stories about your staff and customers.

Transactional emails are emails that directly promote products, promotions, and include emails sent to confirm an order or new account sign-up. Keep these emails succinct, but write with flair.

Videos are a great way to bring your brand to life. They are the perfect vehicle to introduce your products and services. Be sure to keep them short and snappy, perfect for social media sharing.

Business cards are pocket-sized promotional opportunities. Make sure they include relevant details like your social media handles and links to your website. Loyalty cards are also good for encouraging return visits to your store and should reflect your brand. Postcards are a fun way to raise brand awareness. Whether you choose to mail them, add them to your packaging, or distribute them at local businesses, they must be attractive if you want customers to view and keep them.

Most agencies know how to leverage their own email marketing skills to attract and nurture new business. However, they often overlook email as a communication channel post-sale. Email can be used to entice your customers in a scalable way as it provides the means necessary to continuously deliver added value over the course of your relationship. While many would argue that no one is looking forward to more emails, your emails should be relevant and thoughtfully written to ensure you don’t add to the SPAM issue.

Information Systems Development

When it comes to accomplishing information technology (IT) task within an organization, there is the option of insourcing, selfsourcing, and outsourcing. Insourcing means to use individuals within the organization to complete the task. Selfsourcing is using system supports by knowledge workers. Outsourcing is when an organization chooses to use third party companies or individuals to complete the task. Organizational IT outsourcing is growing at an exceptional rate. Organizations may seek outsourcing services from individuals throughout the globe. In order to find the best individuals for the task, outsourcing may be an effective solution that could save cost and time by providing resources and capabilities outside of the organizations structure. Outsourced companies or individuals can be used to cut cost, save time, or be used for their extensive background and technical abilities. In addition, outsourcing allows for organizations to potentially acquire leading-edge technology that they would not otherwise have without purchasing and training employees to use the systems. Outsourcing allows for organizations to focus their resources on task that matter most and are their core competencies. Other benefits of outsourcing include, lowering development cost, hiring the best talent for the job, and gaining a higher quality of work.
Short cycle time systems development involves creating and completing task quickly for organizations. A benefit of this type of structure is that new products and innovation are brought to the marketplace sooner and can help organizations benefit by having a competitive advantage. Concerns with outsourcing short cycle time systems include privacy, security, and potential loss of in-house resources. In addition, the quick reaction allows the development of new products and services to align with market and environment changes. A disadvantage of producing products or services quickly is that the quality may suffer. Furthermore, using outsourced individuals, could also present legal issues, financial setbacks, and provide limited control over outcomes.
To try and mitigate the damages of outsourcing, organizations may use service level agreement (SLA) contracts with the vendors, which ensure with penalties that they receive the desired performance and expectations. Other disadvantages of outsourcing include the cultural differences. Outsourcing is often between organizations with different backgrounds, language, and cultural differences. For organizations to outsource effectively, they should implement corporate policy, which protects privacy and data security of individuals. While cost reduction is a valuable benefit to have, organizations should be aware of outsourced individuals who may have hidden cost associated with the work they provide.

Organizational Stress: Positive or Negative?

I consider occupational stress negative and generated by a lack of productivity, which can be triggered in the work area by factors including disruptive technology, communication, and a competitive environment (Mitut, 2010). Stress is known to affect employees and employers’ ability to work efficiently (Mitut, 2010). Work overload, uncertainty of future employment, punishment, lack of feedback, and powerlessness are additional causes of stress and can lead to imbalances between employer and employee (Mitut, 2010; Selart, & Johansen, 2011).

Stressful organizational situations have a large negative impact particularly in situations that involve punishment and lack of rewards (Selart, & Johansen, 2011). Stress can cause decision makers to cut corners, become more prone to incidents, abuse, and deception (Selart, & Johansen, 2011). Several studies have connected stress to memory loss due to an increase in cortisol production. Moreover, employees can often respond to stress in a negative manner, and stress is known to lead to unethical decision making (Selart, & Johansen, 2011).

Data from a study conducted in 2003 by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions entitled “Working Conditions in the Acceding and Candidate Countries (Report)” explains that stress is the second largest health problem within work organizations, with 22% of organizational members reporting having been affected by occupational stress (Mitut, 2010).

The main causes of occupational stress according to Mitut (2010) are caused by:

  • Unstable conditions for work activity, which can cause job insecurity.
  • Dissatisfaction – common in crisis situations where job restructuring results in a higher level of stress.
  • Work hassle – dealing with situations that damage self-esteem and depression. Can be caused by violence and intimidation.
  • Imbalance of time – caused by work overload, which affects the time for personal desires and needs.
  • In addition to emotional stress, stress can generate high cost for an organizations (Mitut, 2010). Stress causes financial loss for organizations, as
  • well as absenteeism, decreased productivity, accidents, legal cost, medical expenses, and staff replacement (Mitut, 2010).

Organizational stress can be assessed by implementing stress management programs, which will teach employees techniques for preventing and coping with stressful situations (Mitut, 2010). Stress can be minimized by providing employees with roles that are clearly defined and encouraging communication between manager, employee and other departments (Mitut, 2010). Manager and employee meetings can also be implemented in order to discuss employee expectations, roles, and concerns. By promoting motivational strategies that influence esteem, security, social, and self-achievement, organizational members could feel less stressful within the work environment (Mitut, 2010).

I often experience organizational stress throughout my normal workday as a marketing consultant. However, I consider stress to be a normal part of my job and I have been able to adjust easily by simply taking a time-out. By putting the stressful task aside and doing some mental problem-solving, I tend to find solutions to my problems and release the stress by taking a break. A break could either be a walk outside to get fresh air, a nap, or simply getting away from my desk and pacing in my office. The goal for me is to remove stress by occupying my time and doing something other than the stressful task. In addition, I use similar techniques when dealing with stressful clients, outsourced workers, and businesses.

Success of an organizational depends on not disturbing occupational stresses that can create frustrations, low motivations, personal conflicts, dissatisfaction, and a drop in productivity (Mitut, 2010). The manager is responsible for reducing the effects of stress and creating an organization that is efficient and stress-free, and that focuses on maintaining and building the organizations performance (Mitut, 2010). As a manager, my role would be crucial in preventing stress. To properly control the climate of the organization, I would try to seek relationships with employees in order to better understand their personal stressors and work capabilities. It would be my responsibility to remain with a positive attitude and be a motivational influence to the employees. Being able to control the climate, I would need to create jobs that are compatible with employees and prevent work overload (Mitut, 2010).

Selart, M., & Johansen, S. (2011). Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: The Role of Leadership Stress. Journal Of Business Ethics, 99(2), 129-143. doi:10.1007/s10551-010-0649-0

Mitut, I. (2010). Managerial investment on organizational stress. Romanian Economic and Business Review, 5(3), 89–99. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1150119513?accountid=14872

Leader-Member Exchange

Leader-member exchange is when a relationship is created between task behavior and relationship behavior (Graeff, 1997). Leader-member exchange originates from research and literature on transformational leadership. The formalization of the Leader-member Exchange theory stems from “Vertical Dyad Linkage (VDL), a notion developed by Dansereau, Graen, and Haga in 1975, with their paper, “A Vertical Dyad approach to leadership within formal organizations”  (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Leader-member exchange theory asserts that relationships between leader and follower will likely motivate followers to commit to organizations and leaders’ goals. This type of leadership is said to potentially elevate knowledge sharing between leader and follower. Leader-member exchange and knowledge sharing are considered to be positively linked with creative work involvement. In business, employees tend to enjoy a leader-member exchange relationship with high-quality. This type of leadership allows employees to engage in open and creative work processes and encourages climate perceptions (Hassanzadeh, 2014). A leader-member exchange relationship requires both leader and follower to agree and accept shared goals that will fulfill mutual interest (Graen, & Uhl-Bien, 1995; Hassanzadeh, 2014).

Leader-member exchange theory focuses on the relationship between the leader and follower (Northouse, 2013). The theory is that followers and leaders develop exchange relationships that positively alter the impact of organizational outcomes. A leader-member exchange occurs when leaders and followers develop a relationship that results in mutual interest being satisfied (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Within organizations, there are considered hierarchy’s labeled as in-group and out-groups. The groups are determined by how well the leader and follower work together. Followers that are favored by the leader are placed into the in-group, and followers that are not favored by the leader our placed within the out-group. To become favored, the follower must express their organizational dedication to the leader by exchanging activities that go beyond the normal job description (Northouse, 2013, p. 163). A leader-member exchange relationship is not designed to intentionally create inequalities. However, the style and favor system has created a questionable situation. (Northouse, 2013, p. 171)

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Leadership

The purpose of this post was to examine the leadership style of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Media sources were extracted as resources for uncovering how Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership style has an effect on the company’s success and employee satisfaction. The blog further examines Facebook employees by including interviews with current and former Facebook employees. As a transformational leader, Mark Zuckerberg has learned from his mistakes, takes risks, and has grown his company as a visionary leader. Through determination, self-awareness, and by the help of mentor’s, Mark Zuckerberg has been placed on the top 10 CEOs list and has built the most popular social network in the world.

Uncovering Leadership Styles

Transactional leaders focus on maintaining normal workflow of operations. These types of leaders will use disciplinary powers, awards, and an array of incentives to motivate employees to perform their best. These leaders are focused on satisfying quotas on a day-to-day basis. Transformational leaders tend to go beyond the normal day-to-day and focus mainly on creating a solid team of employees by promoting team building. Transformational leaders motivate their employees through setting goals, implementing incentives, and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth (Northouse, 2013). Mark Zuckerberg embodies the characteristics of a transformational leader. He is known as being a motivator who inspires his staff of employees with a clear vision of the company’s future. He further defines the steps necessary to achieve such goals needed. His ideas are disruptive, and his confidence, courage, and vigor makes him a transformational leader that employees relish following (Duggan, 2014).

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg was born in 1984, in White Plains, New York. His father was a dentist, his mother was a psychiatrist, and he has three sisters. During his sophomore year at Harvard University, Zuckerberg dropped out of college to focus on a social network that he created called Facebook. The company setup their first offices in 2004, during which Zuckerberg had turned down major offers from corporations interested in buying his project. Zuckerberg later explained that the reason he did not sell his company was that he was not interested in the money, but motivated by his passion to produce an open information flow for people with his social network. With the guidance of Apple Inc.’s founder, Steve Jobs, Zuckerberg put together a management team that focused on building Facebook into a high quality business. Zuckerberg is known to have a goal-oriented mindset and is fully focused on leading his team to produce the best social media platform in the world. Today, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire on earth and Chairman/CEO of the world’s most popular website, Facebook (Woolley, 2014).

Facebook Environment

At its headquarters in MenloPark, California, each Friday Facebook holds a question and answer session for its employees and users. This forum is as open discussion where Zuckerberg is known for sharing his personal thoughts on the company’s direction. Interns at Facebook, typically make $67,000 yearly, which is $25,000 more than the average U.S. citizen. On a yearly basis, the company puts together a birthday bash for its employees where everyone is given a present for their birthday that took place in that year. The café at facebook offers employees gourmet meals within a setting designed by a team that built a four-star hotel in New York. The Facebook work environment also includes an on-site doctor, chiropractor, and physical therapist. It includes vending machines stocked with computer accessories where users can swipe their identification card and get items such as a new computer charger, batter pack, or keyboard. Once a year, Facebook rents a local park and allows their entire office staff to play games such as dodgeball, kickball, and soccer. In the Facebook work environment, employee comfort and happiness is paramount. Facebook believes that if its employees are comfortable and happy, then they will be more productive (Smith, 2013).

According to an employee study done by Glassdoor (2014), Mark Zuckerberg is rated as number 10 on a list of top 50 CEO’s to work for. Glassdoor is a website were employees voluntarily go to post ratings and reviews on their employer’s and companies in which they work for. Based on the question, “Do you approve of the way this person is handling the job of leading this company?” Facebook employees approved of Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership on an average of 93% out of 100%. The results were calculated based on the ratings between the months of February 2013 and January 2014.

 Working for Mark Zuckerberg

The interview process at Facebook is designed to select employees that fit the culture of the company. Once hired, the employees must learn fast and complete intensive training courses on coding, and hacking. Employees, are not assigned projects, but are allowed to choose the projects in which they are most interested. This method of leadership gives the employees power, courage, and freedom to choose their action of success. Zuckerberg believes that great people who work with clear direction can produce positive results. He believes that employees should be hired based on their passion and not their skillset. He explains that, “skills can be taught, passion can’t,” (Walter, ).

According to Yishan Wong, a former employee at Facebook, as a boss, Zuckerberg began as being cutthroat, and sometimes awkward. His leadership style eventually matured through the five years while Wong was employed with the company between 2005 and 2010. Wong explained that Zuckerberg expected debate, wasn’t sentimental, and he pushed people beyond what they thought was possible of themselves. Wong further explained that in working for Facebook, you must be self-motivated, confident, emotionally secure, and willing to accept the challenges (Carlson, 2012).

To help with building his leadership style, Zuckerberg sought-out mentors, who eventually helped him create a clear vision for his company (Samson, 2013). Andrew Bosworth, a current software engineer at facebook, described Zuckerberg’s leadership as fearless, tireless, and challenging, but with good reason. The results of his leadership, expose unthinkable talent within the employees (Bosworth, 2010). As described in Belscher (2012), Zuckerberg’s leadership style can be considered demanding, aggressive, and encouraging to employees.


Zuckerberg’s transformational leadership style continues to move Facebook to a promising future. He has flourished as a leader and he understands and motivates continued growth within his company (Namin-Hedayati, 2014). Mark Zuckerberg is known as an entrepreneur, programmer, and philanthropist. His transformational leadership style can be described as aggressive, demanding, innovative, and encouraging. As a leader who appreciates friendly debates, he grants his employees opportunities to offer product improvements and suggestions for Facebook (AdviseAmerica, 2014). Zuckerberg understands and admits that he has made many mistakes within his company, but as a transformational leader, he strives to turn those mistakes into growth opportunities (Rasing, 2011).



AdviseAmerica. (2014, May 27). Mark Zuckerberg Leadership Style. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.adviseamerica.com/mark-zuckerberg-leadership-style/

Belscher, B. (2012, December 29). The Management Style of Mark Zuckerberg. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://stylemeceo.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/the-management-style-of-mark-zukerberg/

Bosworth, A. (2010, March 4). Working with Zuck. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from facebook.com/note.php?note_id=339013388919

Carlson, N. (2012, January 25). Confessions of a Facebook employee: What It’s Really Like Working For Zuckerberg. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.businessinsider.com/confessions-of-a-facebook-employee-what-its-really-like-working-for-zuckerberg-2012-1

Duggan, T. (2014, May 23). Transformational Leadership Examples in Business. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/transformational-leadership-examples-business-4571.html

Glassdoor. (2014, January 1). 50 Highest Rated CEOs. Retrieved November 9, 2014, from http://www.glassdoor.com/50-Highest-Rated-CEOs-LST_KQ0,21.htm

Namin-Hedayati, F. (2014, March 5). Mark Zuckerberg’s Leadership Qualities. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.centerforworklife.com/mark-zuckerbergs-leadership-qualities/

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Rasing, M. (2011, March 8). Mark Zuckerberg: Transformational Leadership in Action. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Mark-Zuckerberg:-Transformational-Leadership-in-Action&id=6053695

Samson, N. (2013, November 7). 6 Leadership Lessons from Mark Zuckerberg. Retrieved November 7, 2014, from http://www.mensxp.com/work-life/leadership/21016-6-leadership-lessons-from-mark-zuckerberg.html

Smith, K. (2013, April 18). This Is What Life Is Actually Like Working For Facebook. Retrieved November 5, 2014, from http://www.businessinsider.com/what-its-like-to-work-at-facebook-2013-4

Walter, E. (2014, May 14). How to Lead Like Zuck. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://www.inc.com/ekaterina-walter/as-zuckerberg-turns-30-leadership-lessons.html

Wei Xi, S. (2013, July 4). Mark Elliot Zuckerberg. Retrieved November 6, 2014, from http://greatmindgreatleaders.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/mark-zuckerberg/

Woolley, P. (2014, January 1). Why We Desperately Need More CEOs Like Zuckerberg | Leadership Principles. Retrieved November 5, 2014, from http://socialleadershipdevelopment.com/leadership-qualities-1/mark-zuckerberg-ce

Management and Leadership: Defining the Relationship

The functions of management are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling (Lopez, 2014). Management is about coping with complexity. Good management brings a degree of order and consistency. Leadership, by contrast, is about coping with change (Kotter, 2001). Leadership is a behavior that predicts the attitude of the leader when facing a given situation. Leaders are individuals who are visionary and able to influence and motivate others (Lopez, 2014). Exhibiting leadership means not only influencing others but also doing so in a manner that enables the organization to attain its goals (Vroom & Jago, 2007). Managing and leading organizations effectively takes more than meaning well and supporting only popular causes.

Church (2014), ask the question of whether or not leaders can be developed or is their leadership a given natural trait. A traditional organizational development answer to this question might be that everyone has potential and that all employees deserve and need development. According to Kotter (2001), leaders can be developed from current employees with leadership potential. A successful business will understand and recognize employees with leadership abilities and should dedicate current leaders the responsibility of building the future leaders. Through careful selection, nurturing, and encouragement, dozens of people can play important leadership roles in a business organization. Organizational effectiveness is often taken as a strong indication of effective leadership (Vroom & Jago, 2007).

Leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action. Each has its own function and characteristic activities. Both are necessary for success in an increasingly complex and volatile business environment (Kotter, 2001). Of course, not everyone can be good at both leading and managing. Some people have the capacity to become excellent managers but not strong leaders. Others have great leadership potential but, for a variety of reasons, have great difficulty becoming strong managers. Not everyone has the potential to be both a leader and manager. Each must have the potential or capacity to influence others and be able to make the right decision and ensuring that they are completed (Vroom & Jago, 2007; Kotter, 2001).



Vroom, V. H., & Jago, A. G. (2007). The role of the situation in leadership. American Psychologist, 62(1), 17–24.

Kotter, J. P. (2001). What leaders really do. Harvard Business Review, 79(11), 85–96.

Church, A. H. (2014). What Do We Know About Developing Leadership Potential?. OD Practitioner, 46(3), 52-61. Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Lopez, R. (2014). The Relationship between Leadership and Management: Instructional Approaches and its Connections to Organizational Growth. Journal Of Business Studies Quarterly, 6(1), 98-112. Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Managing a Product-Harm Crisis

A crisis management is the method in which a person or business handles an emergency situation. In business, a crisis can be anything from having to recall a defective product or dealing with an economic change that causes a drop in sales and brand trust. Within this article I will attempt to examine a product-harm crisis and how management can affect whether or not the company can recover once a crisis happens.

Having the ability to understand and react promptly when a crisis arises is vital for maintaining a businesses market share, trust, and reputation. Improperly managing a crisis can have the potential to damage carefully developed equity, and spoil consumers’ quality perception (Chen, Ganesan, & Liu, 2009). When dealing with a crisis, all companies need to be involved in the recover and rebuilding process. To properly manage a product crisis, the company must be prepared to do so. Without preparation, time, finances, and consumer trust will likely have negative impacts. In order to sustain reputation, and prevent a major financial loss, the company must react promptly, honestly, and clearly. I will address what a product-harm crisis is and how to manage it effectively.

A Proactive Strategy

Chen, Ganesan, and Liu (2009) explains that a product harm crisis and recalls have the potential to damage a company’s brand, spoil consumer perception, and ruin a company’s reputation along with cause market share losses. During a 12-year study, it was discovered that a proactive product-recall strategy could likely hurt a company financially more than a passive recall strategy. This is because the tools used by financial market and investors will predict a likely fall in value. This differs from research done by Vassilikopoulou (2009), which explains that there is a sensitivity of dealing with recalls. Being proactive, honest, and financially strategic on resolving the recall is paramount for success. Vassilikopoulou (2009) further stated that a product-harm crisis can impact a company’s sustainability. Ranking factors and relative importance do have an influence during a product-harm crisis. Understanding the likelihood of a crisis could also help create a more accurate crisis management plan. The article explains that corporate social responsibility, organizational response, time and external effects are crucial in managing a crisis. While there may be only a small chance of a crisis occurring, all employees and managers should be prepared and ready to effectively respond if needed.

Maintaining Consumer Trust

In the case of the Fitbit Force, a wrist-worn product that tracks fitness activity. After the launch of it’s new product, 1.7% of more than 100 million users began developing skin rashes where the device was being worn. CEO James Park, responded almost immediately to the news, delivering an apology and product recall with a full refund for all of the devices. Later test results showed that users were likely experiencing allergic contact dermatitis, which is when an itchy rash is caused by a substance that comes into contact with your skin (“Contact Dermatitis,”, 2014). The likely cause for the rash was users not properly cleansing the area beneath the all-day worn device and their skin. The Fitbit company could have easily blamed the rash on user error, but instead decided to take full responsibility and issue a recall. Instead of dealing with a consumer backlash because of their lack of responsiveness, the company continues to do well and consumer trust was sustained.

On the other end, there was the Kryptonite bicycle lock crisis in 2004. After an Internet video surfaced of a user hacking the well-respected company’s lock, many more videos and complaints began forming. The videos showed that the lock could be easily unlocked by jamming it with a plastic pen. Krytonite eventually did address the situation weeks later with a product recall and explained that the issue dealt with all types of cylinder locks including those associated with vending machines and some automobile ignitions. Because of the extended time for the company to respond, media and consumers had been staining the company’s brand for days. This eventually led to consumer trust being lost. Beyond the cost of the recall, millions of dollars had been spent in order to rebuild the company’s reputation.

The Consumer Relationships

Yannopoulu, Koronis, and Elliot (2011) examined more than the brands’ reputation and timeliness, they also examined consumers’ trust during a brand crisis. Yannopoulu et al. explained that dealing with a crisis is focused around brand trust and risk. A crisis should be maintained through a direct experience like that of Fitbit where users received an email from the CEO about the recall, versus mass social media. Conducting and analyzing 22 in-depth interviews and content analysis that explored consumers’ experiences throughout a crisis concluded these results. The key finding is that media outlets and third parties can either preserve or damage consumer to brand trust. Relationship and brand trust are essential during a crisis and companies cannot afford to neglect media aspects if they want to retain customers. Cornelia and Mihaela, (2011) agree that relationships are important and marketing strategies should focus on consumers’ proximity to customers, needs, and their interaction. In addition, the company should remain close to the customer, remain adaptive and present a human and friendly language. According to Cornelia and Mihaela (2011), marketing may be just the solution for many companies to get out of the crisis.


Research has indicated that a proactive strategy may have positive consequences on consumer perception if the crisis is responded to with a constant, active, and firm response (Chen, 2009). The business affected should respond quickly to the crisis and should focus their attention on building and strengthening consumer trust. During a crisis, marketing strategies should be analyzed and focus on resonating emotionally with the consumer through a human, friendly language (Cornelia & Mihaela, 2011). Without proactively managing the crisis, the risk of negative impact rises. The challenge of a crisis is how the information is used once the company receives it. If the company chooses to take the lead and get out in front of the negativity or potential negativity, then they can manage some level of control. To successfully manage a business crisis, the company’s voice must become the trusted channel of information.



Chen, Y, Ganesan, S., & Liu, Y. (2009). Does a firm’s product-recall strategy affect its financial value? An examination of strategic alternatives during product-harm crises. Journal of Marketing, 73(6), 214–226.

Vassilikopoulou, A., Lepetsos, A., Siomkos, G., &.Chatzipanagiotou, K. (2009). The importance

of factors influencing product-harm crisis management across different crisis extent levels: A conjoint analysis. Journal of Targeting, Measurement, and Analysis for Marketing, 17(1), 65–74.

Yannopoulu, N., Koronis, E., & Elliot, R. (2011). Media amplification of a brand crisis and its effects on brand trust. Journal of Marketing Management, 27(5/6), 539–546.

Cornelia, M., & Mihaela, B. (2011). About the crisis marketing and the crisis of marketing. Journal Of Academic Research In Economics, 3(3), 311-316.

Contact Dermatitis. (2014, July 16). Retrieved October 7, 2014, from



To help build the authority and rank of your website, you should establish quality backlinks on niche websites, and not just broad or directory websites. By including links on sites relevant to your own, you will positively help your website ranking and attract new customers. In addition to niche websites, your backlinks should include sites with a high page rank. Link building strategies can easily come from participating in blogs, online forums, and local event groups. When placing a backlink on these sites, you should utilize unique keywords and descriptive anchor text. Another option to find credible backlinks is to search your competitors’ link groupings. A link grouping is a page on the internet from which all, or most, of your competitors get incoming links. By searching your targeted keywords, common backlinks of your competitors can be located. Once these backlinks are identified, you should visit and include your website link on these websites if possible. If these websites are a relevant niche to your business, it should produce favorable results.

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