When a Plight Strikes: Decision-Making During an Avian Influenza Crisis
This critical incident deals with crisis management and stakeholder management at a large egg producing company that is in the throes of an emergency. To give a sense of the scale of the disruption, the firm is a top-five egg producer in the U.S. with 13 million hens. Specifically, approximately one quarter of Daybreak’s liquid-egg production output has been lost to an outbreak of avian influenza among its layer hens. The critical incident tracks its protagonist as he discusses the company’s key stakeholders and their interests, and as he considers the critical decisions that must be made—all of which will affect the company in the short-term as well as in the long-term. The stakes are high: the very survival of Daybreak Foods.
In completing this assignment, students should be able to:
1. Identify the key stakeholders of a company that produces food products and describe the interests of each stakeholder in a crisis situation
2. Prioritize decisions and actions in a crisis situation
3. Draw connections between short-term decisions and the longer-term effects of those decisions
This critical incident is most applicable for graduate or undergraduate courses in management, supply chain, and agri-business. Students should have a basic understanding of food production, consumer interests, crisis management, and supply chain relationships. It also highlights how industries are organized and coordinated, and how they respond to shifting environmental forces.