Campus News

Colloquium to focus on organizational dilemmas

The communication studies department will host a Communications Colloquium Oct. 8 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Room 502 of Caldwell Hall.

The colloquium will feature a talk by Marshall Scott Poole from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The talk, “Organizational Responses to Dilemmas: The Case for Emergency Management,” is open free to the public.

Poole will discuss the paradox often confronted by members of organizations when faced with two demands that are important but may seem mutually exclusive: the need for stability versus the need to change and adapt, the need for employee participation versus the need for management control, and the need for proactive planning versus the need for reactive responsiveness to external conditions.

This presentation will advance a contingency theory of organizational response to dilemmas, which posits that it is not the dilemmas per se, but rather the organization’s response to dilemmas that determines their impacts, positive or negative.

The contingency theory is being investigated in the context of emergency management organizations in the Netherlands and Illinois, and the presentation will focus on a study undertaken in the context of the Dutch crisis response system.

Poole is the David L. Swanson Professor of Communication, director of the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences as well as a senior research scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.