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date: 23 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Crises—be they natural disasters, industrial accidents or system collapses—are no longer seen as “acts of God”; they immediately invoke intense debates on culpability and consequences. Crisis management is scrutinized in and by different forums such as mass media, judicial authorities, independent investigators, and political inquiries. Strategies by accountees vary between blame re-allocation and exhibition of empathy (such as public apologies) and responsiveness. These strategies and the outcome of the accountability process affect private and organizational reputations, professional positions, public policies and, ultimately, such crisis-induced accountability processes produce societal re-equilibration.

Keywords: crisis disaster culpability blame scrutiny inquiry investigation apology ritual learning

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