-the Role of the Leader in Managing a Crisis

Topics: Management, Crisis, Leadership Pages: 11 (3404 words) Published: March 18, 2012

The role of the leader in managing a crisis:
Case Study

“The Truth is that no one factor makes a company admirable. But if you were forced to pick the one that makes the most difference, you’d pick leadership.” (Warren Bennis, 1998) Leadership is today`s most contreversial and commented topic. Do we really know what leadership is all about? Today leadership is becomming a more and more a demanding task. John Kotter (2001), a leadership expert at the Harvard Business School, defines leadership as the ability to cope with change. "Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". (Chemers M. (1997) An integrative theory of leadership. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers)

One of the most important and specific characteristics that is looked for within a leader of a business or organisation is their ability and competency in coping with a crisis. Globilasation of business strongly influences the mechanisms of a crisis within a business environment. Without any doubt, the mass media’s interest and portrayl of leadership within a business demonstrates that leadership as one of the most demanding tasks in running a successful business. Within a crisis greater pressure and focus is placed upon a leader of an organisation to deliver and produce positive results for the investors and shareholders of a business and this in turn makes the leaders life even more difficult to achieve.

The Twenty First Century has globalised leadership of business and this is directly linked to the increasing national and international political and economic arrangements which increase the conditions for competition and changes the social and cultural diversification of an company and organisation. The results of these factors allows us to see the changes and the development of an individual within a business environment and in turn we are also permitted to witness the implicit changes of an individual’s expectations, increasing level of interest to their social responsibility and ultimately changes in their mechanism of communication internally and externally within a business environment.

Technologies and the rapid development within media evaluation drastically and continually creates the changes to the processes that we have outlined above. These methods can build a enterprises’ reputation and success, which may have taken many years to create or they can be accountable to the inevitable failure of a company on account of the leader’s inability to have the requisite decision making and leadership abilities.


“A situation in which there are a lot of problems that must be dealt with quickly so that the situation does not get worse or more dangerous.” (Longman Dictionary) According to some authors, a crisis threatens an organization’s top level goals and sometimes threats a life of organisation, a crisis “requires immediate response, the situation organisation crisis prediction and prevention mechanisms are insufficient, which creates tension.” İtler Akat, Gönül Budak, Gülay Budak, Isletme Yönetimi, Istanbul, Beta Basım Yayın Dagıtım A.S1994, s.339

According to the political scientist Hermann, a “crisis threats the decision making units top level aims, restricts the reactions time before decision has been made.” Mahmoud Erramel, Micheal Bourn, The Role Of Accounting Information Systems In a Organization Experiencing Financial Crisis Accounting Organization and Society 1990 p,339. A crisis has been described as an individual, a group or an organization not being able to deal with the causes of sudden changes using the normal-ordinary methods which organizations face unpredictability each and every day. The crises can be sudden ongoing, long lasting, and over costly and this can be easily demonstrated by reviewing the current global financial crisis...
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