The Fukushima nuclear disaster: Causes, consequences and implications

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Year Completed



This case study discusses the causes, consequences and implications of the nuclear disaster at TEPCO’s (Tokyo Electric Power Company’s) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, that was triggered by a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami waves on March 11, 2011. Over the following days and weeks, Japan experienced its worst nuclear crisis, which would ultimately be considered the second worst nuclear accident in the world after Chernobyl. The case discusses the deeper underlying causes that allowed such a catastrophe to happen despite Japan being a technologically advanced nation known for its diligence and high-quality products. While the plant in time achieved cold shutdown, this did not mean that the Fukushima disaster was over. Instead, numerous consequences and implications extend into the future. The second part of the case discusses several such important issues. Through this case, students will have an opportunity to discuss a variety of issues surrounding governance, organizational decision-making, leadership, trust, communication, and ethics. They will become more aware of the contributors to crises and crisis management, understand the phenomenon of groupthink, and be given an opportunity to discuss different approaches to crisis leadership. They will also be able to go beyond explicit management topics and recognize and discuss issues of broad implications for society and business such as the future of nuclear energy and the responsibility of organizations for a catastrophe such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster.


Fukushima, Crisis Management, Decision-Making, Japan Public Policy, Nuclear Disaster, Groupthink, Japan


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Business and Corporate Communications | Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics | Energy Policy | Environmental Policy | Human Resources Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Public Policy | Strategic Management Policy

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Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate


Singapore Management University

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