Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Dustin D. Berna

Second Advisor

Neil Katz

Third Advisor

Mary Hope Schwoebel


airlines, airports, business continuity, crisis management, readiness, training


This dissertation explores crisis management policies, programs, and training in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s premier airliners, Saudi Arabian Airlines. Saudi Arabian Airlines is a domestic and international carrier with a major role in the transportation of millions of Muslim pilgrims to the Kingdom during the annual Hajj season. This event places enormous strains on the capacity of the carrier, the airport, ground support systems, and the societal infrastructure of country. There have been tireless efforts by the Airline’s staffers to serve millions of visitors including pilgrims in a timely, safe and appropriate manner. Crisis management for Saudi Arabian Airlines includes assessment of natural and man-made risks in the firm’s operational environment, the development of a comprehensive response plan that includes training of staff at all levels of the firm, compliance with all relevant legal and regulatory mandates, and the use of effective response tools and systems. Saudi Arabian Airlines is viewed herein as best approached through the theoretical lens of Systems Theory, which speaks to the interdependency that exists within complex, multi-faceted systems. To identify the approach taken by Saudi Arabian Airlines to crisis management and to assess whether or not its response could be enhanced through additional planning, training or other strategies, a case study including review of relevant literature augmented by a survey of a sample of industry employees was undertaken. The survey instrument, coupled with an analysis of relevant crisis management protocols and practices including those recommended by organizations such as the International Air Transport Association was sued. The study identifies a need for additional training of the Airlines’ employees for a more effective crisis response