Crisis as Opportunity, Disruption and Exposure: Exploring Emergent Responses to Crisis Through Digital Technology

Information and organization 31(1) (2021)

Posted: 9 Mar 2022

See all articles by Manos Gkeredakis

Manos Gkeredakis

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Hila Lifshitz-Assaf

Harvard University - Business School (HBS); New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Michael Barrett

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School

Date Written: March 4, 2021

Abstract

We live in a technologically advanced era with a recent and marked dependence on digital technologies while also facing increasingly frequent extreme and global crises. Crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic, are significantly impacting our societies, organizations and individuals and dramatically shifting the use of, and dependence on, digital technology. The way digital technology is used to cope with crises is novel and not well understood theoretically. To explore the varied uses and impact of digital technologies during crises, we propose to view crisis as (1) opportunity, (2) disruption, and (3) exposure. Examining crisis as opportunity reveals how digital technologies enable experimentation and accelerate innovation while raising coordination challenges and risky implementation. Viewing crisis as disruption highlights how digital technologies enable the rapid shifting of organizational and occupational practices to new digital spaces, allowing work continuity, yet potentially distorting work practices and raising challenges of over-dependence. Finally, crisis exposes the societal implications in making visible and exposing digital inequalities and producing moral dilemmas for us all. We use these three perspectives to shed light on the varied uses of digital technologies in the COVID-19 crisis and suggest new avenues for research on crises more broadly.

Keywords: Crisis, Covid, Digital Technologies, innovation

Suggested Citation

Gkeredakis, Manos and Lifshitz-Assaf, Hila and Lifshitz-Assaf, Hila and Barrett, Michael Ian, Crisis as Opportunity, Disruption and Exposure: Exploring Emergent Responses to Crisis Through Digital Technology (March 4, 2021). Information and organization 31(1) (2021), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3817351

Manos Gkeredakis

University of Navarra, IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

Hila Lifshitz-Assaf (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Cotting House 321A
Boston, MA 02163
United States

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

Michael Ian Barrett

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School ( email )

Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom
+44 01223 339600 (Phone)
+44 01223 339701 (Fax)

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