Management of Extreme Situations

From Polar Expeditions to Exploration-Oriented Organizations

Management of Extreme Situations

Edited by

Pascal Lièvre, Clermont Auvergne University, France
Monique Aubry, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
Gilles Garel, the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, France

ISBN : 9781786301291

Publication Date : October 2019

Hardcover 442 pp

165.00 USD



In response to the rise of various forms of the extreme in economies, organizations and societies (such as disruptive innovation, climate emergency, financial crisis, high-risk sport, etc.), an ambitious 21st century program sets the agenda of management sciences around the unknown, disruption, uncertainty and risk.

Management of Extreme Situations presents the research results from the conference organized at the Cerisy-la-Salle International Cultural Center, France, in 2016. It testifies to the existence of an international community that brings together, around management sciences, various disciplines studying the management concept of extreme situations.

Through the analysis of varied contexts (polar and mountain expeditions, fire rescue services, exploration projects in the military field, creative industries, etc.), this book offers an initial grammar of the extreme. It presents a heuristic for the management of these situations – particularly in terms of sensemaking, ambidexterity and knowledge expansion.


Part 1. Exploration and the Extreme
1. An Exemplary Exploration Story: Nansen’s Expedition to the North Pole, Pascal Lièvre.
2. Project Management in Extreme Situations: The Manhattan Case, Sylvain Lenfle.
3. Exploration, the Common Theme of a Training System on Innovation, Bruno Stévenin and Éric Dépraetere.
4. A New Progress Technique in the Himalayas, Paulo Grobel.
5. Some Methodological Considerations in Relation to the Objects Involved, Mondher Kilani.
6. Ethnography of the Extreme: Epistemological and Methodological Issues of the Use of Video, Géraldine Rix-Lièvre.

Part 2. Creativity and Organizational Reliability
7. Management of a Crisis Situation in a Large Video Game Studio, Patrick Cohendet and Laurent Simon.
8. Organizing Innovative Design or How to Remainan Explorer: The Case of Creaholic, Gilles Garel.
9. Creativity under Constraint: A Management Sciences Perspective, Guy Parmentier.
10. Creativity for Extreme Situations, Samira Bourgeois-Bougrine and Todd Lubart.
11. Scope and Limits of Extreme Situations for Highly Reliable Organizations: A Pragmatic Interpretation, Benoît Journé.
12. Error in Decision-Making Processes in Operational Situations: The Case of Fire Rescue Organizations, Anaïs Gautier.

Part 3. Register of the Intelligibility of Extreme Management Situations
13. Going to Extreme Situations: What Meaning Should be Given to Such a Project?, Jean-Pierre Boutinet.
14. Sense, Sensitivity and Competence, Michel Récopé.
15. A Sea Kayaker’s Identity Route and Learning Experience in The Arctic, Pacal Croset.
16. Organizational Ambidexterity: The Double Organic Ambidexterity, Monique Aubry.
17. Radical Change in an Extreme Context: Mountaineers Conquering the Darwin Cordillera in Patagonia, Geneviève Musca.
18. A Knowledge Corpus and Innovation. Jean-Louis Ermine and Pierre Saulais.
19. Community of Practice, Variation of Knowledge and Change in Extreme Management Situations, Jean-Philippe Bootz and Olivier Dupouët.
20. Expanding Knowledge and Mobilizing Social Networks, Marc Lecoutre.
21. The Crowd and the Expansion of Knowledge, Claude Guittard and Éric Schenk.

Part 4. The Variety of Extreme Situations and Disciplinary Perspectives
22. The Routines of Creation: From Artistic Direction to Collective Exploration, David Massé.
23. The Young Researcher Program for Extreme Situations, Christelle Baron, Emmanuel Bonnet, Stéphane Cellier-Courtil, Nicolas Laroche and Isabelle Magne.
24. Knowledge Transfer and Learning in Extreme Situations: The Psychologist’s Vision, Jean-Claude Coulet.
25. Expeditions as a Legitimate Object in Management Sciences, Linda Rouleau.

About the authors/editors

Pascal Lièvre is Professor in Management Sciences at Clermont Auvergne University, France.

Monique Aubry is Professor of Project Management at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada.

Gilles Garel is Professor of Innovation Management at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, France.