Aarhus University Seal

Organisational Crisis Management

"No organisation is immune to crisis". This statement is quickly confirmed if you take a look in the media. Pick any day of the week and you will find stories in newspapers or social media about product recalls, accidents, financial scandals, mismanagement, IT-breakdowns, cyber-attacks, social media “shitstorms", downsizings, MeToo scandals, terrorism, floodings, and the like. Uncertainty and crises have become the new normal. Pandemics, war, economic crises, climate changes, energy and sustainability issues leading to change of consumer habits (flight shame, meat shame, slow consumption, etc.) and polarization are part of this new world.

The consequences of being unprepared to respond to crises are dramatic. Managing difficult times and crisis calls for a planned approach (preparedness) as well as an emergent approach (improvisation and contingency) to crisis management. Crisis communication is extremely important in order to help people (victims, employees, customers, investors, citizens, etc.) cope with a crisis situation and to restore image, reputation and trust of organisations. Knowing how to detect, handle and learn from a crisis is extremely important to SME’s as well as to large companies, and to all functions in an organisation (Management, Marketing, IT, HR, Communication, R&D, Law, Finances, etc.)

The course consists of an advanced introduction to the principles of crisis management and crisis communication based on a strategic, proactive and process-oriented life-cycle approach to crisis.

In the pre-crisis stage, we focus on barriers to crisis recognition and crisis preparedness, including crisis preparedness plans. Why do we often see the signals of an upcoming crisis too late? How can we work with crisis scenarios? How do we compose a crisis management team? In the crisis stage, we focus on crisis retainment, resilience and crisis dynamics. What are the first things to do? How can we restore trust? How can we share knowledge and create sense among employees? Why is it so difficult to anticipate stakeholder reactions? What is the role of communication and social media? How can we reduce the consequences of a crisis? In the post-crisis stage, we focus on learning and accountability. What are the barriers to learning from crises? How can we turn a crisis into an opportunity for innovation?

Exam info and full course description

Exam info and full course description can be found in the course catalogue

Admission Requirements

Course specific:

A Bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration or a related degree

General:

Exchange students: nomination from your home university

Freemovers: documentation for English Language proficiency

You can read more about admission here.