Hugo Marynissen
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Hugo Marynissen

Hugo Marynissen (born 1966) is a Belgian expert in crisis governance, senior partner at PM•Risk Crisis Change, postdoc researcher at University of Antwerp, and associated professor at Antwerp Management School. The focus of his current research is on team dynamics in crisis teams, safety leadership within so-called “High-Reliability Organizations”, normal chaos, and the role of crisis governance as a way to anticipate extreme events.

He is the president of CIP Institute, a non-profit organization that brings together scientists and practitioners from various disciplines in an inspiring and innovative platform to exchange and develop knowledge about the Complex and Interactive Processes (CIP) in the field of crisis. Since November 2020, he has been appointed as an expert to the Special Parliamentary Commission investigating the COVID-19 approach in Belgium.

Hugo Marynissen studied change management at Saïd Business School (Green Templeton College, University of Oxford) and HEC Paris, where he received his Master Degree in 2009. At Cranfield University, School of Management, he received in 2014 his degree Doctor of Business Administration with a thesis entitled “A constitutive view on risk communication in organisations managing high-risk processes: Towards a conceptual framework” advised by Donna Ladkin, David Denyer and Collin Pilbeam.

After his graduation, Marynissen was appointed the Academic Director of the first Executive PhD program in Belgium (Antwerp Management School). In this function Hugo was responsible for the program design and content, selection of faculty, and the support and follow-up of the PhD candidates. During this period (2015-2019), he successfully launched collaborations with Lingnan (Univeristy) College, a division of the Sun Yat-sen University in the People’s Republic of China, and with Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) in Austria. Additionally, he has been an invited Professor at Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Management Center Innsbruck (Austria) and Lingnan (Univeristy) College. He also acts as the Academic Director and professor at the “Crisis Communication Module” in the Post Graduate Program Disaster Management at Campus Vesta.

As an associate professor and postdoc researcher Marynissen is in charge of a four-year research project on the future of firefighting (on behalf of the Antwerp fire brigade) and safety networks in the Port of Antwerp.

Marynissen is senior partner at PM • Risk Crisis Change, a Belgian agency specialized in risk and crisis management. Since 2008 he has provided regular coaching and consultancy services in the field of risk and crisis management. During the terror attacks in Brussels (March 22, 2016), he and his team advised Belgium’s Prime Minister on the crisis communication strategy. Together with his colleague Stijn Pieters he developed the Crisis Communication Work Process (CCWP), an evidence-based method for crisis communication. The CCWP revolves around four challenges, which communication teams must overcome. First, they must claim a mandate; second, they must provide strategic advice based on enriched infor- mation; third, they must work on the notion that crisis communication is only effective if it interfaces with the mental thinking patterns or mental models adopted by those with whom they need to communicate; and finally, they must approach crisis communication as a separate discipline with various specializations.

Publications by Hugo:

Marynissen authored and co-authored numerous publications in his field of expertise:

  • Marynissen, H., Brugghemans, B., van den Oord, S. (2020). Brandweer in transitie. Vijf jaar bedrijfsmanagement in tijden van verandering. Vanden Broele, Brugge.
  • Van den Oord, S., Vanlaer, N., Marynissen, H., Brugghemans, B., Van Roey, J., Albers, S., Cambré, B., Kenis, P. (2020). Network of Networks: Preliminary Lessons from the Antwerp Port Authority on Crisis Management and Network Governance to Deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic, Public Administration Review, 80(5), 880–894.
  • Marynissen, H., Lauder, M. (2020). Stakeholder-focused communication strategy during crisis. A case study based on the Brussels terror attacks. International Journal of Business Communication, 57(2), 176–193.
  • Lauder, M. A., Marynissen, H. (2018). Normal chaos: a new research paradigm for understanding practice. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 26: 319–323.
  • Marynissen, H. (2014). Over foute helden en een nieuwe visie op veiligheidscommunicatie (About false heroes and a new vision on safety communication). Ad Rem (Flemish practitioners’ journal for communication professionals), 3, 10-12.
  • Pieters, S., Marynissen, H. (2017). Crisisbeheer in zorgorganisaties. De gouden driekhoek van operaties, beleid en communicatie (Crisis management in health organizations. The golden triangle of operations, policy and communication). Acco: Leuven / Den Haag.
  • Marynissen, H., Pieters, S., Mertens, P., Ramacker, B., Brugghemans, B. (2015). Het Werkproces Crisiscommunicatie. Naar een verdere professionalisering van de communicatiediscipline. In: Devroe et al. (Eds.) Zicht op first responders. Handboek bij het beheer van evenementen en noodsituaties in Nederland en België. Maklu, Antwerpen – Apeldoorn (pp. 267-288).
  • Brugghemans, B., Marynissen, H. (2013). The process of decision-making in a fast burning crisis situation: A multiple sequence approach of decisiveness. International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management, 7, 41-50.
  • Brugghemans, B., Marynissen, H. (2013). Beslissingen nemen in complexe brandweerinterventies (Taking decisions in complex fire fighter interventions). De Brandweerman (Practitioners’ journal of the Belgian Fire Fighters Association), 89(538), 7-8.
  • Marynissen, H. (2013). Waarom communicatie niet werkt? (Why communication doesn’t work?). Ad Rem (Flemish practitioners’ journal for communication professionals), 4, 8-10.
  • Marynissen, H. (2011). The relationship between organisational communication and perception. Acta Chirurgicum Belgica, 11(4), 193-199.
  • Marynissen, H., Pieters, S., Van Dorpe, S., van het Erve, A. M., Vergeer, F. (2010). Geen commentaar! Communicatie in turbulente tijden (No comment! Communication in times of turbulence). Houtekiet / Business Contact, Antwerp – Amsterdam.

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