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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Give Credit To Those In Charge

Written by  ED DEVLIN, CBCP October 22, 2010

As a person who spends a large amount of his time analyzing how organizations prepare for and react to crises, I was disappointed to see the recent articles criticizing Johnson and Johnson and their subsidiary McNeil for their response to their product recalls. Over the years, I have used the company as the standard bearer of “how to manage a crisis” in hundreds of “crisis management” presentations. My opinion was based on how J&J/McNeil handled the Tylenol poisoning crisis in 1982. The response of James Burke, the CEO, was rapid and proper. J&J’s public handling of the crisis assured consumers that Tylenol was safe to buy again and that J&J was a company that consumers could trust. The reason Burke reacted so quickly and in such a positive manner stems from the company’s mission statement adopted the mid-1940s by Robert Wood Johnson. Paraphrased, it stated that the company‘s responsibilities were to maintain

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