Title

Response of STEM and Social Science Faculty to the COVID-19 Crisis: An Application of Organizational Learning

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2021

Department

Educational Research and Administration

School

Education

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic was a crisis that required immediate response from higher education STEM faculty and support units. We analyzed this response using Weick’s stages of sensemaking:  enactment, selection, retention. Sensemaking began with rapid response to the initial emergency as faculty and support units enacted immediate responses to instructional, technological, and workload challenges. Early in the selection phase, training and support were identified by faculty as catalysts for immediate success, as well as preexisting relationships both within and outside of the university. Lack of effective communication from the university was cited as a reason for nonsuccess. Thereafter, sensemaking settled into a coping mode and metamorphosized into identification of specific lessons for long-term organizational learning. Notably, these were not always those that had appeared most urgent at the beginning.

Publication Title

College Teaching

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