Crisis simulation scenario building methodology that considers cascading effects for pedagogical and research interest

Clement Judek, Abla-Mimi Edjossan-Sossou, Thierry Verdel, Kathleen Van Heuserswyn, Frédéric Verhaegen


Crisis management is based on knowledge and reflexes that replace the normal functioning of an organization. This implies the need for managers of crisis situations to have gained some experience in a practical or theoretical way. Crisis simulations appear to be a pedagogical solution for this experience gaining. A simulation is supposed to recreate as accurately as possible a realistic situation. To do so, the crisis simulation should be based on the psychological reality illustrated by the characteristics of the situation as well as the characteristics of the crisis managers’ reaction who cope with it. The scenario is an essential part of the simulation, it contributes to enhance some of the previously cited characteristics such as the evolving nature of the problem, the important consequences, the surprise, etc. The scenario is chosen and elaborated as a function of the objectives of the simulation.
Objectives of crisis simulations are mainly pedagogical. However, there is a clear interest of conducting scientific studies about crisis situations by simulating them. Especially because they are complex, unpredictable, and participation in crisis centres to make observations is rather delicate. For both aforementioned reasons, we think that crisis simulations could be either a solution for pedagogical concerns as well as for research purposes. This study has been undertaken within the framework of the European project CascEff which aimed to better understand cascading effects. Its objective was to develop a methodology that enables the modelling of cascading effects. The validation of such methodology in a context of a crisis situation was an intrinsic part of the development process.
The iCrisis simulation approach enables to simulate crisis situations at a strategical level. The scenario is a key element of this approach. Based on classic scenario building methodologies and cascading effects assessment methodologies, this communication proposes a scenario building methodology for the iCrisis simulation approach that considers cascading effects, in order to study this concept and the added value of the developed CascEff methodology for crisis managers.
iCrisis simulations allowed us to give pedagogical advices to crisis managers, but also to set a validation session for the CascEff methodology aiming to assess its added value for crisis management.


Crisis simulation; scenario building; cascading effects

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