Crises are influencing the corporate sustainability. Long-term stakeholder value built in decades can be ruined by a middle scale crisis. In the new world of cyber-physical systems, scholars emphasize the decentralized, human–machine cooperation based disturbance handling. From information technology and communication (ICT) point of view the cyber-physical systems are ready for a sustainable, decentralized crisis management. The aim of the article is to present results of a research that has as objective to study the readiness of the human component of cyber-physical systems for a decentralized crisis management approach in industrial organizations. Two highly regulated industries—automotive and pharmaceutical industry- was selected; in all the studied organizations the continuous human-machine cooperation is a reality. The sample consisted of 151 respondents and a questionnaire-based survey was used. The study revealed the need for guidance and education for the personnel regarding the roles and competences of the different departments regarding the relationship with certain stakeholders. The study also reveals that apart from some explicitly regulated by law areas—fire safety, occupational health and safety, and some issues related to technological failures—the studied organizations are not prepared for unexpected situations. Also, our survey revealed that the members of the organization, others than top managers, are not prepared to handle ‘off the job-description’ situations.
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