Boosting HR’s psychological literacy to tackle future crises

This report explores how business and HR leaders can draw upon psychological resources as part of crisis management strategy.

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With research suggesting an organisation’s level of psychological know-how can improve its response to disruption, this report will explore how business and HR leaders can draw upon psychological resources as part of their crisis management strategy.

In a period where all of humanity is experiencing a variety of unprecedented challenges, we can be certain that further crises will significantly impact organisations in the near future – the climate emergency being one such example.

It’s no longer possible for businesses to act as if they are separate from the natural world and social change. Employers must tackle these issues head on, and can do so by boosting their knowledge of psychology to create better businesses for their employees, clients and communities.

In this report, Dr Volker Patent, a lecturer at The Open University’s School of Psychology, examines the aspects of psychology that come to the fore during disruption and explores how to build psychologically resilient organisations and workplaces.


In this report you'll learn

  • Why psychological impacts matter
  • How leaders should prepare for future crises
  • Five ways humans react to crises
  • How to better communicate through the next crisis


For more than 45 years The Open University (OU) has led the way in part-time education, developing workplace learning and development solutions for employers (across the private, public and voluntary sectors), as well as educating individuals. Specialising in developing high quality learning materials, based on rigorous research and industry insight, the OU combines academic excellence with technological expertise to deliver flexible, results-driven and truly engaging workplace learning solutions.

The OU’s global reach enables consistent learning to be delivered at scale, across geographically dispersed workforces, through an online delivery model that uses advanced learning analytics to enhance the  performance of busy professionals. This – coupled with a successful, well-developed blended learning approach – is how the OU has enabled employers to deliver learning that is responsive to both organisational and staff needs, therefore maximising their return on learning investment.

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