The Difference between a Problem and a Crisis

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A problem involves divergent views and often evolves with multiple solutions (Cristancho et al., 2017). Many organizations focus on the wrong problems hence miss opportunities, waste resources, and enact innovations that are not aligned to their strategies. To find the right solution, an organization must ask the right questions and tackle the correct problems. According to Cristancho et al. (2017), stakeholders approach a problem differently, but the main challenge is in agreeing on how to solve a problem. On the other hand, a crisis is an event perceived by stakeholders as unexpected and threatens to disrupt an organization’s goals and objectives (Bundy et al., 2017). A crisis has a profound relationship with stakeholders in an organization.

According to Bundy (2017), a crisis has four primary characteristics. It is harmful to companies, especially where there are conflicting needs and wants. Moreover, crises are behavioral, they are sources of uncertainty, change, and disruption. Finally, a crisis involves an extensive process. Organizations can reduce organizational crises by cooperating crisis management, which involves stakeholders, and communication on how to minimize a crisis and its effects. When a company faces a crisis, it has an implication to employees, customers, and the reputation of a company.  

Organizations use the Key Performance Indicators to measure projects’ performance (Bočková et al., 2019). For example, the transport industry has been facing an issue in demand for public transport. The suggested areas of measure include waiting time and traffic. This is a problem and not a crisis because there are other alternative means of transport. Long queues and spending long hours in traffic is becoming a problem. By implementing Key Performance Indicators, such as reducing waiting time, public transport can solve the problem before it becomes a crisis. Suggested Key Performance Indicators include increasing load factors and decreasing passenger-waiting time. By reducing passenger-waiting time, those using public transport will not stay in queues for long periods. Therefore, measuring a project depends on how fast or slow the transport industry will adopt the different changes and the delivery tools used. In the end, the main objective is to eradicate the problem within a given period and deliver the expected quality before it becomes a crisis.


Bočková, K., Koda, M., & Lengyelfalusy, T. (2019). Project management and its aspects in global organisation: Case study. Journal of Financial Economics1(1), 39-58.

Bundy, J., Pfarrer, M. D., Short, C. E., & Coombs, W. T. (2017). Crises and crisis management: Integration, interpretation, and research development. Journal of Management43(6), 1661-1692.

Cristancho, S., Lingard, L., & Regehr, G. (2017). From problem-solving to problem definition: scrutinizing the complex nature of the clinical practice. Perspectives on medical education6(1), 54-57.

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