Since the writing of this case, the American Red Cross (ARC) is on record as having conceptually addressed its infrastructure and operational hurdles. However, very few strides have been made to reverse stakeholder perception crisis response time, relief dispatch strategies, and the ethical dilemmas plaguing the organization. Governmental mandates that streamlined the board and that established accounting /reporting parameters have done little to modify the organizations operational culture.
Since 2002, the organization has had seven CEO’s. This high turnover has prompted concern from stakeholders and government officials. Records indicate the organization now has approximately 35,000 employees and its volunteer pools still hoovers around 500,000.
Under the leadership of Gail McGovern, current CEO and President, the organization has eliminated the large deficit it posted in FY 2010.
These recent developments demonstrate the organization is progressive. Even so, ARC continues to experience the same ethical hurdles it did 20 years ago.
Recent major national disaster relief occurrences, for which the Red Cross led efforts, have been the earthquake that struck Haiti and Hurricane Sandy.
A strategic alliance with Dell has allowed ARC to implement a digital operations center for humanitarian relief in 2011 (ARC, n.d.). Social media (Facebook and Twitter) and smartphone applications have also been added to the organization’s communication arsenal as social media (Facebook and Twitter) and smartphone applications communication tools for advance storm tracking, crisis area developments and real time communications between ground crews and decision making management personnel (Zolkos, 2012).
Although these communication tools are useful in bridging communication gaps, the ARC does not rely solely on this tool as a basis for its grassroots relief efforts (Zolkos, 2012).
Since the mid 90’s, ARC has been enshrouded by clouds of financial mis-management, embezzlement discoveries, FDA penalties for blood bank operation infractions, and negativity regarding disaster response time and process mayhem. These re-occurring incidents have shaken the confidence of stakeholders and have begun to have an adverse impact on donor perceptions of the integrity and validity of the efforts promoted by ARC (Welch, 2012).
In March 2012, local leaders and the United Way demanded answers from Red Cross Panhandle Chapter regarding the distribution of $282K that was raised from wildfire relief donations. These funds were raised in 2010 and by the time the inquiries began many of the 2010 ARC staff in this chapter had been replaced under the government restructure. As such, new staff found itself in a quandary as it sought to address the questions and accusations being hurled (Welch, 2012). The tangible numbers that were eventually conveyed indicated that of the $282k raised, $119k was actually given to victims and $60K was used to restock...