Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Patricia Fusch


Some agri-food managers of United States-based companies use strategies to mitigate product-harm crises.The loss of brand and corporate sustainability increases for companies not utilizing mitigating strategies to reduce losses from agri-food product-harm crisis.The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the strategies managers use to mitigate losses from agri-food product-harm crises. Coombs' situational crisis communication theory served as the conceptual framework for this study. A sample of 3 managers from 3 agri-food companies in the southern United States shared their mitigating strategies to reduce losses from a product-harm crisis. Methodological triangulation assisted in reviewing and analyzing information from semistructured interviews, relevant company documents, and journal notes. The use of alphanumeric coding, discovering, and identifying themes, selecting relevant themes, organizing themes in hierarchical order, and linking themes to the phenomenon under study indicated four main themes supporting the benefits of mitigating strategies to reduce losses from an agri-food product-harm crisis. The main themes included the use of pre-crisis mitigating strategies, mid-crisis mitigating strategies, post-crisis mitigating strategies, and high pressure pasteurization (HPP). Findings from this study indicated that agri-food managers use strategies to mitigate product-harm crises, but the added expense of some mitigating strategies often precludes their use. The study findings may contribute to social change by increasing the awareness of agri-food managers, consumers, and company leadership to use mitigating strategies to reduce the number of illnesses and deaths associated with a product harm crisis.

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