International doctoral seminar: Studying Crisis Communication: New Theories and Methodologies, 30 September – 2 October 2013, Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany

Organized by
Centre for Corporate Communication, Department of Business Communication, School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University (Denmark)

by International Research Group on Crisis Communication, Department of Media Studies, Ilmenau University of Technology (Germany)

When? From September 30 to October 2, 2013
Where? Ilmenau University of Technology


The seminar, which spans over three days and is aimed at doctoral students within the social sciences and the humanities, is divided into two parts.

Part (I) consists of an advanced presentation and discussion of recent crisis management and crisis communication research. The focus is on how the discipline of crisis management has developed from a narrow to a broad perspective, and from a simple broad to a complex broad perspective; and how crisis communication has moved from a rhetorical and text-oriented approach to a more strategic and context-oriented approach with a view to allied fields such as risk communication, issues management and reputation management. A special interest is devoted to international crises and the role of the new social media.

Part (II) consists of an advanced introduction to the methodologies of crisis communication including both quantitative methodologies and research techniques (experimental designs, content analysis, and surveys) and qualitative methodologies and research techniques (especially case studies as a research design). The seminar also includes a one-day long case study-based workshop focusing on theory building.

Before the seminar, the participants will be asked to hand in a two-page long presentation of their research project. After the seminar and in order to receive the 5 ECTS, the participants will be asked to submit a short paper (8-10 pages), which will be commented on and evaluated by the teachers based on the content of the seminar.

After the seminar, you should be able to

  • Understand how crisis management and crisis communication have developed as academic disciplines since the mid-1980s
  • Identify and discuss key concepts, models and theories within the field of crisis management and crisis communication
  • Understand the mechanisms of theory building
  • Apply various types of research designs and research methods within the study of crises, crisis management and crisis communication


  • Professor W. T. Coombs & professor S. J. Holladay, U. of Central Florida (USA)
  • Professor F. Frandsen & professor W. Johansen, Aarhus University (Denmark)


  • F. Frandsen & W. Johansen, Aarhus University (Denmark)

General information about the seminar

  • Readings: A text compendium will be published on September 2, 2013 (in a Dropbox folder). To get access to the folder, please contact Finn Frandsen
  • Important! Deadline for registration: September 16, 2013
  • Registration: Please contact Vibeke Vrang (, Department of Business Communication, Aarhus University

Sent to us by Finn Frandsen (


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