Publish Date: 05.06.2020

Category: News from the University

You are invited to the webinar Organizational adaptation in a time of crisis, which will be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, at 5 p.m. Speakers: prof. Vaughn Tan, University College London’s School of Management; prof. Sameer B. Srivastava, Haas School of Business, University of Berkeley; prof. Tamara Pavasović Trošt, Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. Registration link:

In today’s uncertain times, many small businesses have found themselves faced with furloughs, mass lay-offs, or have completely gone under. Which lessons have we learned from the two-month crisis? This webinar will tackle the questions of how businesses can adapt to uncertainty, but also how organizations can pre-emptively plan and design themselves to be more adaptable. Two leading specialists in the field of uncertainty organizational adaptation will take stock of some of the main lessons learned from how COVID-19 affected small businesses, and provide some insights into how businesses can adapt to – and plan for – uncertainty in the long run.

The questions we’ll tackle include:

  • How can small businesses adapt and stabilize in times of crises? Can they design themselves to be more innovative and adaptable to uncertainty, and how?
  • Which businesses have been shown as more successful in adapting to the COVID-19 crisis? Which strategies, structures and processes have shown to be most successful?
  • What are the main issues in building adapting capabilities and planning for uncertainty in the long run? 

Prof. Vaughn Tan is Assistant Professor at University College London’s School of Management. He received his PhD in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University in 2013. His newest book, The Uncertainty Mindset (Columbia University Press, 2020) focuses on the culinary industry to explain how organizations can use intentional uncertainty to design themselves to be more innovative and adaptable to uncertainty. With collaborators, Prof. Tan also developed a set of coronavirus response guides for the food and beverage industry. His previous research has highlighted how ambiguous group goals and member roles increase a group’s adaptability and ability to innovate. 

Prof. Sameer B. Srivastava is Associate Professor and Harold Furst Chair in Management, Philosophy and Values at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University (2012). At Berkeley, he teaches the MBA course Power and Politics in Organizations, and co-directs the Berkeley-Stanford Computational Culture Lab. His research has been published in journals such as American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, and Organization Science, and covered in media outlets such as The New York Times, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Forbes. 

Prof. Tamara Pavasović Trošt is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the School of Economics and Business, academic unit for International Economics and International Business. She holds an M.A. in Political Science from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University (2012), where she received the university's Derek Bok award for excellence in the teaching of undergraduates. Previously, she was a visiting professor and researcher at the University of Graz and Princeton University. Her research interests primarily focus on nationalism and identity politics, with articles appearing in journals such as Nations & Nationalism and Memory Studies.