Responding to information asymmetry in crisis situations: Innovation in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic


Crises test the resilience of public service organizations. Healthcare providers must respond and innovate within tight constraints to address challenges. Presenting COVID-19 as a knowable unknown (black swan event), we adopt information processing theory to investigate how healthcare providers and their suppliers address information asymmetry to support decision-making. Building on primary and secondary datasets, we demonstrate managers were innovating internal structural responses. For black swan events, in-house ‘intelligent clients’ are intrinsic not only in managing information uncertainty associated with early stages of the crisis, but also in addressing information equivocality and joint decision-making with other organizations associated with implementing solutions.

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