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Critical communication mistakes by United Airlines

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  1. List the critical communication mistakes by United and suggest solutions alternatives to avoid communication problems
    1. Message
    2. Channel
    3. Apology
  2. Help United develop a crisis plan to facilitate communications with employees' families in the future
    1. Be prepared before a crisis hits
    2. Demonstrate United Airlines' concern
    3. Schedule Meetings
    4. Develop relationship with employees before a crisis
  3. How did the climate at United Airlines change from the families' perspectives following September 11?
    1. Company Structure / Managerial activity and supportiveness
    2. Trust, confidence and credibility
    3. Feedback and candor
    4. Organizational policies
    5. Perception
  4. Use Argenti's communication model to analyze this case and help United improve their relationship with the families of the deceased pilots
    1. Organization
    2. Message/Image
    3. Constituencies
    4. Constituent response
  5. Apply Pat Heim's managing conflict strategies to the communications between United and the pilots' wives
    1. Avoid defensiveness
    2. Legitimize
    3. Focus on the future, not the past
    4. Direct v. Indirect
    5. Chip Theory

On the morning of September 11, United Airlines saw their future change before their eyes. Overall, 18 United Airlines employees and 93 passengers were killed in the crashes. At 9:30 am, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all airplanes, closed all airports nationwide and diverted some of its air traffic to Canada. United Airlines was responsible for the crashes, the major shutdown of all their operations, and the passengers and crew members that were stranded across the country. As United Airlines struggles to emerge from bankruptcy, will they be able to repair their poorly managed relationships or fail like many airlines before them?

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