Knowledge Management for Managing Crisis in Tourism: Theoretical insights


  • Ewa Stolarek-Muszyńska Doctoral School, Gdansk University of Technology
  • Malgorzata Zieba Division of Management, Gdansk University of Technology



knowledge management, crisis management, tourism, theoretical framework


COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented crisis affecting the entire tourism industry. Accommodation, food, and travel sectors have been affected by the decreased number of visitors, which had a ripple effect on the financial situation of the whole industry. The purpose of this work is a better understanding of the role of knowledge management in terms of mitigating the crisis in the tourism sector, as well as a development of the framework that appropriately addresses the relevance of KM in crisis situations. This study is based on the literature review of selected papers devoted to crisis management and knowledge management in the time of crisis. The research output is presented in the form of a new framework. This study focuses on the potential support of KM practices on the crisis management within a tourism industry. This work delivers the insights regarding the potential knowledge management application in tourism sector in terms of coping with high-volume crisis. The proposed framework shows that knowledge management practices can be potentially helpful in the time of crisis and may be integrated into a kind of framework for crisis management. Those practices need to be carefully adjusted to the particular situation and to the possibilities of their implementation, as well as to the type of crisis situation and its severity. Additionally, the importance of knowledge as a mean of support for tourism organizations in their decision-making process has been confirmed. Research output is limited to the theoretical contribution originating from the framework. This limitation is to be overcome in the future when the pilot study testing this framework is conducted. Findings of this study provides useful insights not only for the academic society and researchers, but also for tourism organizations striving for further development and improvement of its’ internal processes and handling a crisis situation. This paper improves the overall understanding about the role of knowledge management during a crisis in tourism sector. Theoretical findings provided in this study can constitute the inspirational benchmark for the tourism organizations helping them to catch on the impact of KM practices on the crisis management.

Author Biographies

Ewa Stolarek-Muszyńska, Doctoral School, Gdansk University of Technology

Ewa Stolarek-Muszyńska is a PhD candidate in Management at Doctoral School, Gdańsk University of Technology. Her research interests are in knowledge management and crisis. Prior to starting her PhD program, she worked for various companies in the business and NGO sector, gaining managerial experience in marketing and management field. 

Malgorzata Zieba, Division of Management, Gdansk University of Technology

Małgorzata Zięba is an Associate Professor of Management in the Department of Management, Faculty of Management and Economics at Gdańsk University of Technology. She received her Ph.D. degree in Economics from the same university. Her research areas concern knowledge and innovation management in small and medium sized companies, mainly from the knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) sector and sustainable management.