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How HR Professionals Can Respond to Our Current Virus Crisis


The current pandemic may feel like a unique situation, but in some important ways it’s similar to an accident, according to Michigan Ross Professor Dave Ulrich.

In a new essay for the Human Engineers website, Ulrich explains four phases of a typical crisis, using a medical emergency or accident as a metaphor: an accident with first aid/first responders; an ambulance with transition; a hospital with expert care; and home to embed a new normal. Ulrich outlines appropriate responses to each phase from a human resources perspective, which together provide a solid plan to deal with the pandemic.

“Many feel tired of the demands of the coronavirus but are not sure where to go next, for themselves as individuals or for their organizations,” Ulrich writes. “Recognizing the accident phases offers a roadmap for the journey ahead.  By defining the talent, leadership, and organizational implications of the journey ahead, business and HR leaders can react to the present AND prepare for the future.”


Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Collegiate Professor of Business Administration and director of the Human Resource Executive Program at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Media Contact: Bridget Vis, Public Relations Specialist, [email protected]

Featured Faculty
Rensis Likert Collegiate Professor of Business Administration
Director, Human Resource Executive Program