International Open-Access Course „Organizing in Times of Crisis: The Case of Covid-19”


Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich is offering the Open Access course "Organizing in Times of Crisis: The Case of Covid-19". The course is the result of a cooperation between several Austrian and German universities. Thomas Gegenhuber also contributes to the course. "The aim is to impart knowledge on numerous aspects of crisis management and crisis resolution from various business and organisational perspectives," explains Trittin-Ulbrich.

The coronavirus situation evidently has a major influence on how companies and society in general are currently organizing themselves. For example, new forms of organisation are being created to address urgent social problems. Social media are usually a communication channel for companies to promote their products. However, during a pandemic, companies use these media spontaneously to provide important information on general protective measures to a large number of people, thus fulfilling their social responsibility. But problematic developments can also be observed: Organisations can deepen social problems in these turbulent times. For example, the unequal design of workplaces with occupational safety and health measures (e.g. home office options, protective clothing) increases social inequalities.

In this unique course, teachers from various disciplines combine their expertise in the current exceptional crisis situation and its implications for organizations. The course's topics range from decision-making processes, crisis communication and entrepreneurship, to state bureaucracy and issues of inequality in times of crisis. Trittin-Ulbrich says: "The aim of the course is to provide students, the general public and decision-makers with an up-to-date overview of research on crisis management and coping strategies. Gegenhuber adds: "Especially in times of crisis, it was important to me to impart knowledge about new and alternative forms of organizing. The #wirvsvirus Hackathon under the patronage of the German Federal Government is a good example of this".

The English-language course materials are available on a simply designed landing page for all interested parties and students: Lecture videos, slides, assignments and a standard syllabus. In a blog, further aspects are pointed out or other approaches to the topic are recommended by international scientists. Students and other interested parties can decide for themselves when to use the materials that are always available. "We are curious to see how this innovative concept will be accepted," says Trittin-Ulbrich.