Revealing the Purpose of a Stakeholder Organisation: The case of a public university responding to the COVID-19 ‘Corona’ Crisis

Journal of Behavioural Economics and Social Systems, Vol. 2, No. 1. pp.65-80, 2020

16 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2020

Date Written: June 2020

Abstract

By the beginning of March 2020, Austria went into a state of emergency due to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 (‘Corona') virus. Social life was put on hold, and public and private organisations were close to a complete shutdown; medium-term and long-term implications were unforeseeable at that time. As a consequence, universities also had to adapt their modus operandi. In this empirical paper, we report how a public university responded to this low-probability-high-consequence event. We analyse the email communications that occurred during the first phase of responding to this crisis concerning the organisation's purpose and the salience of its components. As our findings indicate, a situation of emergency reveals the priority of some ends over others of the organisation's mission. We contribute to the debate on multi-objective purposes of stakeholder-focused organisations (such as public universities) and provide singular empirical evidence.

Keywords: Coronavirus, Covid-19, Corona, Stakeholder Organisation, Public University, Crisis Response

Suggested Citation

Kraguli, Florian and Fahrenbach, Florian and Kaiser, Alexander and Kerschbaum, Clemens and Baumgartne, Lisa-Maria, Revealing the Purpose of a Stakeholder Organisation: The case of a public university responding to the COVID-19 ‘Corona’ Crisis (June 2020). Journal of Behavioural Economics and Social Systems, Vol. 2, No. 1. pp.65-80, 2020 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3671294

Florian Fahrenbach

Independent ( email )

Alexander Kaiser

Independent ( email )

Clemens Kerschbaum

Independent ( email )

Lisa-Maria Baumgartne

Independent ( email )

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