Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)


Academic emergent strategies and experiential learning cycles in times of crisis

Author(s): Roberta Fenech, Priya Baguant, Onise Alpenidze

Experiential learning, whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience, in the context of crisis gives rise to emergent strategies that are unintended, flexible and open to change and evolution. The purpose of this research is to explore how emergent teaching strategies in education develop from experiential learning cycles. The emergent environmental circumstance in the context of this study is the COVID-19 crisis. A contribution of this study is that it brings together a theory that has its roots in the world of management (emergent strategies) with another that has roots in the field of education (experiential learning cycle). 16 academics are the participants in this qualitative research study that uses focus groups for data collection that is analysed using content analysis and inter-rater reliability. The main finding is that emergent teaching strategies in times of crisis develop from concrete experience, observation, reflection, active experimentation, diverging (i.e. viewing situation from many perspectives and brainstorming) and accommodation (i.e. carrying out plans and experiments and adapting to immediate circumstances). This study provides a number of practical recommendations for academics and higher education management.

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