Call for participation for a workshop with Prof. Kathleen Sutcliffe (John Hopkins University):
“Developing Resilience – Sustained performance under risk and dynamic conditions”.

Developing Resilience – Sustained performance under risk and dynamic conditions

The half-day workshop takes place on Thursday, 28 November 2019 at Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg
Participants are asked to submit a statement of interest relating to their research until 15 October 2019.

What exactly are we referring to when we talk about resilience, mindfulness, change and
trusted leadership in organizational theory? What role do organizational environments and
organizational information processing play for safety, efficiency and sustainability? In what
ways does and does not “Managing the Unexpected” tie in with trajectories of social theory?
We seek to explore these and further related questions through engaging with the work of
Kathleen Sutcliffe.
Sutcliffe makes an instructive contribution to organizational theory by developing a socially
embedded model of organizational learning that includes affective foundations and various
aspects of an actively lived culture as important factors of continuous performance and success.
Therefore, she discusses the ways and modes of enabling, enacting, and elaborating a culture
of mindfulness, resilience and safety. In her research she developed a concept of organizing as
an integrative framework that is focused around key themes of both crisis and resilience,
including capabilities for durability, organizing and adjusting, responding to major disturbances,
and a feedback loop from these experiences. By accentuating the qualitative, so far neglected
forces and influences become visible, e.g. that today’s complex information often isn’t precise
and that it’s not the accuracy and abundance of information that should matter most to top
executives – rather, it’s how that information is interpreted.
We would like to explore the various strains and issues of Sutcliffe’s work by engaging with key
texts that present and discuss the respective arguments during a half-day-workshop. Our
discussions will be guided by the participants’ particular interests in Sutcliffe’s thinking, as it
becomes relevant in their own research. The workshop is rounded off with a concluding
reflection that traces the intriguing manner of Sutcliffe’s work.
Participation is possible either actively or passively. Active participants will have the
opportunity to discuss aspects of their own work with Kathleen Sutcliffe and the group. For
active participation, please send a short statement of interest (max. 400 words in total)
referring to your research project that will be provided to all participants in advance. For
passive participation inform us about your willingness to attend. Please submit your statement
of interest by October 15, 2019.
Kathleen Sutcliffe is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Business at the John
Hopkins University/Carey Business School and School of Medicine and Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker
Professor Emerita of Business Administration at the University of Michigan/Ross School of
Business. She wrote numerous articles and books on different areas of organizing under
uncertainty and ambiguity, sensemaking and team dynamics as well as more recently on
organizational safety and risk in oil exploration and production, wildland firefighting, and in

Alexander Degel (, Katharina Liebsch (

Call for participation



Letzte Änderung: 17. September 2019