Crisis Management

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Crisis Management

RCB pioneers crisis management modules in core courses

As we’ve learned too well, crises such as economic downturns, hurricanes and pandemics can wreak havoc across society, making ever clearer the need for crisis management in all facets of business.

This semester, RCB pioneered an innovative initiative that will equip students to shepherd organizations through crisis events and situations during their careers. The College has embedded crisis management modules into 40 sections of core business courses to prepare more than 1,300 students this semester alone.

Bob Fleming Each one-hour module consists of an introduction to crisis management, a conversation between subject matter experts that relates crisis management to the course topics, a reflection activity and an evaluation quiz. Each module uses familiar crisis situations to discuss the five essential elements of an effective crisis management process and plan: prevention, preparedness, recognition, resolution and recovery.

RCB also is developing a promotional video of this project, which will be shared with various stakeholder groups.

“Our students have experienced a number of crisis events and situations, including the current pandemic,” said Dr. Robert Fleming, who oversaw the development and launch of the four crisis management modules. “As a result, they recognize the mission-critical importance of preparing for the various crises that they and their organizations will face throughout their business careers.”

“This project is part of the College’s pledge to equip graduating students with the skills that will allow them to effectively tackle opportunities and challenges as they assume leadership roles in their organizations,” said Dean Sue Lehrman. “It’s also part of our commitment to being a thought leader in the area of crisis management as a way to support organizations in our region and nationally.”

This innovative teaching project has already received an RCB Dean’s Choice Teaching Award.

Fleming, professor of management, with an affiliate appointment as a professor of crisis and emergency management, has extensive experience in crisis and emergency management. He began integrating crisis management into his courses after the September 11, 2001, attacks and then built it into his capstone Business Policy course.

Alumni who have taken the crisis management module value the experience, Fleming said. For example, they shared that the knowledge, skills and confidence they gained had served them and their organizations well during the pandemic.

“While contemporary organizations have faced many unprecedented challenges over the past two years, those with proactive crisis management programs have been able to survive and weather the storm of the devastating worldwide COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted the way we live, work and travel and the operational challenges of ensuring business continuity and organizational resilience,” Fleming said.

Photo: Craig Terry