Leadership Style and Crisis Management

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Boin, A., P.‘t Hart., A. McConell and T. Preston. (2010). Leadership style, crisis response and blame management: The case of hurricane Katrina. The Journal of Public Administration, 88(3), 706-725

In this paper I have summarized the article and offer comments on where additional research would assist in further understanding of the issue. The authors of this article used retrospective review which uses existing data and researches. Leadership style and crisis management have always been the main topics in the wake of a disaster and are always a debate topic between the public and the politicians in power. The reason this article seemed more interesting is that I personally followed up on all the media coverage on the issue of Katrina and believed that the government at the time failed on so many levels to meet the affected people’s need for health and safety. On the other hand it is interesting to know how the government would implement the existing policies in the wake of unexpected catastrophes. Article Summary

This article explains the leadership styles and public criticism frequently after the crisis and how the administrations manage the blame and apply these contexts to President’s bush response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The article mainly emphasizes that at the time of crisis the leaders are facing three crucial challenges: Facing Inquiries, Dealing with public criticism, and coping with political verdict. The authors are trying to explain the leaders’ response to these challenges in terms of their leadership style. According to the Psychological research used in the article, two important characteristics of leadership style are: 1- Need for control and involvement and 2- Sensitivity to context, which may explain the leaders’ response in time of crisis. Leaders with high need for control, tend to be in front and centre and appear to be “hands on” leaders Vs leaders with less need for control, known as “business executive” style,...
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