Executive Decision Making During a Crisis: Burger King Reacts to Hurricane Andrew
Scaglione, Sue M.
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This paper investigates the decision making practices of the Burger King Corporation after the near destruction of its world headquarters in Miami, Florida by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Seven executives were personally interviewed five months after the hurricane. Each were asked the same set of questions to determine: the pathway of decisions, to test the theories of centralized decision making vs. decentralized decision making, to test the structure of the organization on decision making, and to test the applicability of the five steps of decision making. Burger King made decisions based on the problem. The organization is decentralized, allowing for timely, flexible, and effective decision making. They did not rely on one person, or "pull in the ranks", but rather disseminated problems throughout the functional departments where they were then held for solution or further disseminated.