The tapestry of citizen perspectives: Utilizing Cultural Theory for effective crisis response




Cultural Theory, grid-group typology, citizens’ perceptions, crisis management, crisis measures


The COVID-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear that in times of crisis, governments need to reach out to all their citizens and engage them in a strategy for action. While the effect of "rallying under the flag" wears off quickly, effective crisis management over longer periods of time requires customized communication and measures that are tailored to the various social groups. Under time pressure, the complexity of the social world must be reduced to remain capable of action. The Cultural Theory approach offers a parsimonious model, known as grid-group-typology, for analyzing and developing citizen-centered solutions that sufficiently account for the social differentiation of society without getting lost in the complexity of real life. By applying the grid-group typology, this study examines the personal and societal disadvantages perceived during the pandemic to (a) evaluate the explanatory power of the CT approach and (b) demonstrate how the typology can serve as a heuristic for designing more citizen-focused crisis responses.

Author Biography

Monika Knassmüller, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business

Monika Knassmüller is assistant professor at the Institute for Public Management & Governance, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business. She serves as co-chair of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) Permanent Study Group IX on Teaching Public Administration and is member of the editorial board of Teaching Public Administration. Her research interests include public management and governance from an organizational and comparative perspective, communication in/of public sector organizations, and the research‒teaching nexus in higher education, with a focus on teaching public management and training civil servants.


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