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Elective Course II

level of course unit

second cycle, Master

Learning outcomes of course unit

After completing this course the students will possess theoretical knowledge of crisis communication (both within and external to the company) and will have the competence to apply this knowledge in various (stress) situations. They will have experience of how they themselves and groups react in stress situations, and also how to cope with these situations, calming all those involved.

prerequisites and co-requisites

not applicable

course contents

The contents of the theoretical part of this integrated course are:
- Introduction to crisis management
- Forms, causes and effects of crises
- Change management / issue management / risk management / crisis management
- Focal points of crisis communication
– Case studies (e.g. Brent Spar)
– Crisis prevention
– Dealing with crises
– Setting up a crisis committee
– Developing crisis messages
– Writing press releases and similar information regarding the incident

In the practice unit the students will put the theoretical knowledge they have acquired from into practice. A crisis scenario will be played out for several hours, with the students assuming the role of the communication function of the company concerned. This crisis scenario, characterized by its closeness to reality (i.e. limited access to information, uncertainty, pressure of time, external pressure by – fictional – intervention on the part of politicians/police/media, lack of loyalty on the part of those reporting to the people responsible), will enable the students to make use of their knowledge when in a stress situation, to experience group dynamics at times of crisis and to find their own role. The exercise will end with a debriefing relating to the scenario and an extensive discussion of the entire course.

recommended or required reading

Ditges, F. / Höbel, P./ Hofmann, T. (2008): Krisenkommunikation. UVK Verlag
Nolting, T. (Hrgs.) (2008): Krisenmanagement in der Mediengesellschaft. VS Puttenat, Da. (2009): Praxishandbuch Krisenkommunikation. Gabler

assessment methods and criteria

In-course assessment

language of instruction

German or English

number of ECTS credits allocated


course-hours-per-week (chw)


planned learning activities and teaching methods

Integrated lecture, case studies, discussion, group work

semester/trimester when the course unit is delivered


name of lecturer(s)

director of studies

year of study

2.year of studies

recommended optional program components

not applicable

course unit code


type of course unit

compulsory (integrated lecture)

mode of delivery

In-class course

work placement(s)

not applicable