Introducing Performativity to Crisis Management Theory: An Illustration from the 2003 French Heat Wave Crisis Response



While current crisis management literature focuses on the necessity of consistent data and shared interpretation to coordinate effectively, contrastingly, this paper highlights the predominating influence of crisis responders' performances on information transmission. Based on an exploratory interpretive analysis of the 2003 French heat wave crisis response, our findings reveal that performances can support immediate reaction and involvement, but can also generate conflicts or misunderstandings that may burden coordination. This work's contribution to the crisis management literature is in threefold. First, we enrich the crisis management literature by proposing performativity as a potential analytical lens for collective action during crisis response. Second, we propose some practical recommendations to improve crisis management training through the application of the concept of performativity. Finally, we propose a critical perspective on tacitly held assumptions in crisis management.