Every summer term I offer the master-level elective module “Current Issues in Theory and Practice of Organizations”. Last year I focused on “Open Organizations and Organizing Openness” with a wiki-based flipped-classroom approach (check out the open access course wiki). In 2020, however, there is no issue more current than the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As result, I teamed up with Elke Schüßler (University of Linz) to design a collaborative open course on “Organizing in Times of Crisis: The Case of Covid-19”. From the course description:
The worldwide spread of the Covid19 virus poses a grand social challenge. Seriously threatening the health of the world’s population and accompanied by huge social and economic disruption, it is one of the largest immediate crises for Western societies since World War II and a humanitarian disaster for humankind around the world. Drawing on classic and contemporary organization theory, this course aims to illuminate many pressing questions surrounding the pandemic, such as how supply chains can be organized to ensure adequate supplies of health material, the strengths and difficulties of open science approaches to the development of a vaccine or capabilities of different forms of organization and coordination to quickly and adequately respond in times of crisis.
Together with six other contributors from universities in Berlin, Frankfurt/Oder, Hamburg and Lüneburg, we managed to compile 12 classes on various organizational issues related to crisis management:
- Class #1: Organizational Decision-Making in Crisis (Elke Schüßler, University of Linz)
- Class #2: Organizing in and for the Unexpected (Daniel Geiger, University of Hamburg)
- Class #3: Crisis Management and Bureaucracy (Leonhard Dobusch, University of Innsbruck)
- Class #4: Dynamics of Network Governance in the Face of Emergency (Jörg Sydow, Freie Universität Berlin)
- Class #5: Leading, Sensemaking and the Future (Jochen Koch, European University Viadrina)
- Class #6: Organizational Crisis Communication and Social Media (Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich, Leuphana University Lüneburg)
- Class #7: New and Alternative Organizations to Counter Crisis (Thomas Gegenhuber, Leuphana University Lüneburg)
- Class #8: Open Science, Data and Commons (Leonhard Dobusch, University of Innsbruck)
- Class #9: Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the Common Good (Ali Aslan Gümüsay, University of Hamburg/HIIG Berlin)
- Class #10: Organizing for Resilience in the Global Economy (Elke Schüßler, University of Linz)
- Class #11: Inequality, Organizations and Covid-19 (Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich, Leuphana University Lüneburg)
- Class #12: How Grand Challenges Link Together (Ali Aslan Gümüsay, University of Hamburg/HIIG Berlin)
All course materials, readings, assignments and video lectures are available open access at timesofcrisis.org and the corresponding YouTube channel respectively. Given that all is available under a Creative Commons license, we invite lecturers to use, adapt and build upon our materials. Where possible, we offer the course material in open, changeable formats to make adaptation as easy as possible (e.g., the standard course syllabus). Check it out!