Abstract for: Phase Transitions in Crisis Management: Challenges and Opportunities for Strategic Decision-making

Crises are situations characterized by great uncertainty, high time pressure, and threats to important values (Dyson & ‘t Hart, 2013). In this paper, we introduce a fourth feature of crises: dynamic control. We argue that a crisis is a dynamic process, which undergoes qualitative shifts in degree of control during its timespan. To be successful, a decision-maker must recognize the current control state (direct or indirect), and adapt his/her strategic choices accordingly. This requires deep knowledge – in the form of mental models – of the mechanisms governing the crisis.