Challenges in Teaching Crisis Management: Connecting Theories, Skills, and Reflexivity

  • Lalonde C
  • Roux-Dufort C
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Abstract

Teaching crisis management is both fascinating and frustrating. It is fascinating because crises, by their very nature, are spectacular, dramatic, and intense; immediately arouse the individual and collective imagination; and because everyone seeks explanations for what, at first glance, appears inexplicable. It is also fascinating because educators are exposed to a transdisciplinary and transborder field of studies with wide-ranging ramifications. Yet it is frustrat-ing because educators must often deconstruct the popular perception that crises are rare, improbable, and unpredictable phenomena, often leading individuals to feel powerless and fatalistic. It is also frustrating because of the lack of knowledge in the field itself, at three levels: conceptual/theoretical, practical, and reflective. This article highlights the teaching challenges in this rich and diversified field at each of these three levels and examines three teaching tools to address them: case studies, crisis simulations, and the reflexive journal. The authors also consider that a crisis cannot be viewed as a homogeneous concept. With the help of Gundel's crisis typology (con-ventional, unpredictable, intractable, and fundamental crises), the authors present promising teaching approaches to deal with each of the three

Author-supplied keywords

  • crisis management
  • middle-range theories
  • pedagogical toolbox
  • reflexivity
  • skills

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Authors

  • Carole Lalonde

  • Christophe Roux-Dufort

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