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Constructing Crisis
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: September 2019
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online ISBN: 9781108551663

Book description

There is no such thing as a crisis. Rather than an actual, corporeal thing, a crisis is a claim asserted from a position of power and influence, intended to shape the understanding of others. A constructed crisis by a leader may or may not be legitimate, and, legitimate or not, the content of a claim alone does not determine whether people decide to believe it. Rather than viewing crises as the result of objective events, Spector demonstrates that leaders impose crises on organizations to strategically assert power and exert control. Interpreting crisis through a critical lens, this interdisciplinary book encompasses not just management and organizational literature, but also sociology, history, cognitive science, and psychology. The resulting wide-ranging, critical, and provocative analysis will appeal in particular to students and academics researching leadership and crisis management.


‘This is a remarkable book! Novel and to the point, it also contains didactic discussions about method which blend seamlessly into the flow of its argument.'

José Santos - INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France

‘At last, a thoughtful, critical and contemporary review of the nature of crisis - in an alleged time of crisis. Spector provides a radical lens on an important phenomenon that we should all read, if we really want to understand the contemporary world.'

Keith Grint - University of Warwick

‘This masterfully composed book sheds new light on the dangers of looking at the processes of governing and organizing through the lens of crisis claimed by an untamed executive power. With his profound historical consciousness and focused critical reflexivity, Spector reveals to us the dark underbelly of executive leadership claiming crisis.'

Milorad Novicevic - University of Mississippi

‘In this timely and lively book, Spector takes on the ‘peek-a-boo' notion that every new and unexpected event is a crisis. He argues that crises are claims made by leaders, which in today's post-truth world, we need to verify to prevent them from using fear to accumulate power.'

Joanne B. Ciulla - Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick


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