Christophe Roux-Dufort

Christophe Roux-Dufort is a full professor in the department of management at the Faculty of Administrative Science at Laval University in Canada.

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For more than 25 years Christophe Roux-Dufort has been teaching Crisis Management and Crisis Communication in French Grandes Ecoles and held visiting professor positions at INSEAD and various foreign universities. He has published some forty articles on crisis management in national and international scientific journals and professional journals. He has also written 8 books.

His comments on the latest crises are regularly published in the economic press. He works as a consultant to major international companies on crisis management issues, prevention plan, feedback and personal coaching of leaders and management teams in difficult situations.

Are crises and disasters really tragic? Inspiration from the Greek Tragedy

This keynote is in line with a stream of research questioning the notion that crises may be predicted and controlled. I propose that normalizing crises that is, considering them as incomprehensible events from which managers cannot escape, entails acknowledging their tragic essence. I use the Greek tragedy as an analytical lens (rather than a mere metaphor) to conceptualize them as irreducible processes ­– despite all efforts made to prevent, control and manage them.  Managers are not able to change the trajectory of events much like Greek  tragic heroes who fight against their destiny. I explore the tragic nature of crises in order to reveal their inexorable and insurmountable nature, as well as the consequences they have on managers who are trapped in events beyond their control and understanding. To this end, I draw on the Greek tragedy as a genre to highlight hidden facets of crises and crisis management. The application of this analytical lens makes two distinct contributions: it offers a novel definition of crisis and it puts forth a model of crisis development I call the tragic cycle.