Ripples in a pond: Forecasting industrial crises
Accidents, discoveries of pollution, safety violations, product tampering epi sodes and other "unfortunate events" occurring within complex industrial systems can be conceptualised as pebbles dropped in a pond. The impacts of such events ripple outward, encompassing first the directly affected victims and property, then the responsible company or agency, and—in the extreme—engulfing other companies, agencies, and industries. Some events make only small ripples; others make large ones, often labelled "in dustrial crises". This paper explores characteristics of unfortunate events and the ways they are managed that affect the breadth and seriousness of the resulting impacts. In doing so, we point toward the development of models that may help companies forecast and avoid industrial crises.