Cognition towards crisis: the blind man held a handful of snow … and concluded that white was cold
by Jean-Marie Jacques, Maryline Specht
International Journal of Emergency Management (IJEM), Vol. 3, No. 1, 2006

Abstract: This paper analyses organisational structures and the relations and symbols through individual and collective cognition. We specify forms of sensemaking within the crisis process. Sensemaking, as a general perspective within the framework of organisational meaning, confers explanation of crisis. In addition, facts and their cognitive interpretations one by one highlight concrete phenomena and events' chaining through crisis. Factual phenomena can be seen as the multiple elements supporting sensemaking within the organisation: machines, software, technical environments and systems. Cognitive phenomena are related to human perceptions and representations. This expresses the potential of the framework to embrace a mechanical perspective, a structuro-functionalist and cognitive one. We indeed advocate for psychological training addressing sensemaking as a major asset for crisis management.

Online publication date:: Wed, 12-Jul-2006

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