Crisis Management in Organisations
Full course descriptionThe aim of this course is to provide you with an understanding of the phenomenon crisis, its attributes, and to discuss ideas on what can help us to avoid and handle a crisis intelligently. A crisis is a low probability, high-impact event that threatens the viability of the organization and is characterized by ambiguity of cause, effect and means of resolution, as well as by a belief that decisions must be made swiftly. Well-known examples are the BP oil spill and the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. Hence, this is not a course about financial crises.
An enormous amount of articles have been written on how to solve crisis situations. Often these solutions are presented in easy to use -to do- lists. Unfortunately, solving organizational crises is not that simple. The objective of this course is to offer you a clear framework that helps you in understanding how organizational crises arise, and to give you more insight in the complexity of crisis management.
The course consists of two main parts: (1) conditions that affect the vulnerability to an organizational crisis; and (2) crisis management. The first part concentrates on the factors that make an organization crisis prone. We thereby focus on human nature; social-cultural causes; and organizational-technological causes. The second part discusses crisis management. We will discuss what organizations can do to prevent crises, and how to contain and resolve organizational crises. Specific attention will be paid to crisis decision making by individuals and groups; communication, and leadership in times of crises.
Course objectivesAfter successfully completing this course, students should be able to:
• understand the nature and types of organizational crises;
• discuss the possible outcomes of organizational crises;
• recognize how individual, social/organizational/cultural, and technological factors have contributed to the emergence of organizational crises;
• explain which factors help in preventing organizational crises;
• explain which factors help in containing and resolving organizational crises;
• appreciate the role of individual/group decision-making, communication, and leadership in the crisis management process.