Teaching course II: The case of war and armed conflict – First impressions from Leuphana University

Today, I have started teaching the course Organizing in Times of Crisis: The Case of War and Armed Conflict at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg! The bachelor students will analyse the current Russian invasion of Ukraine through a management and organization theory lens, in order to better understand the impact of such a crisis on organizations, but also which role organizations play in such crisis. In the kick-off session, I used Lego Serious Play to visually unearth the expectations that students bring to such a course.

This is what they came up with:

Model 1: “Many things come together in this course, there are steps we will have to take in order to reach our goal (pass the class), we work collaboratively together, we will encounter many theories, and our discussions will „propel“ the course”
Model 2: (From right to left): “War is destruction, and in this course, we move across a bridge (build a bridge) to build a better future. We, as students, watch what is happening and try to make sense of it.”
Model 3: “We build a Ukraine flag and we show solidarity with Ukraine. We also hope that we learn about helping the affected people (red crosses!)” 
Model 4: “We wanted to show that love is what unites us all, and the flowers represent the various crisis that we have humankind currently face and collectively need to address.”
Model 5: From right to left: “We (us) try to look what is taking place beyond what the media (the wall) shows us, to really understand what is going on during the war.”

I think these models reflect ideally what we were aiming for when developing the course, and I am looking forward to the discussions that will follow my students’ presentations (mid of June)!

New articles relevant to “Organizing in times of war and armed conflict”

The current volume of “Organization Studies” contains two studies that are highly relevant to our course contents. First, the article “Space and Sensemaking in High-Reliability Task Contexts: Insights from a maritime mass rescue exercise” links to classes 2 and 4 by examining the role of sensemaking in high reliability contexts. Second, the study “Precarity, Hospitality, and the Becoming of a Subject That Matters: A Study of Syrian Refugees in Lebanese Tented Settlements” connects to classes 6 and 7 which talk about the refugee crisis that accompanies war and armed conflict.