Organizing in Times of Crisis: A Collaborative Teaching Project


“Organizing in times of crisis” is a recurrent phenomenon. However, catastrophies like the Covid-19 pandemic starting in 2020 or the Russian invasion of the Ukraine in 2022 are major crisis events on a global scale, confirming the frequently mentioned volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of modern economies and societies. Dealing with large-scale and disruptive crisis events may be the “new normal” for businesses, public administrations and civil society organizations around the world given the quickly advancing climate crisis and resulting in mass migration, food shortages, growing inequality and war.

This collaborative teaching project developed by a network of organization scholars aims to respond to this situation by offering course materials and a collective knowledge base on organizing in times of crisis that is openly available to everyone. To date, it comprises two open courses designed for master programs in business administration, management and organization studies, one focusing on organizing in times of a pandemic, and one focused on organizing in times of war and armed conflict. The syllabus und lecture slides are editable so that the courses can be fit to different teaching needs.

The platform hereby is more than a teaching resource: it is also an information source for current developments surrounding the war in Ukraine and the Covid19 pandemic, offering fresh research results on crisis management and organizing in times of crisis as well as practitioner insights. In the accompanying blog faculty members and students from different universities share their reflections on ongoing developments. The project has been awarded with the Aspen Institute’s “Ideas Worth Teaching” Award in 2020.