Edited by Andrew J. DuBrin
Chapter 13: Disaster planning and training for crisis leaders and managers
Historically, it has been suggested that leaders are responsible for ensuring that the business of the organization was protected from disruption. Even now, most well respected examinations of organizational leadership focus on what happens on the inside of any business, school, or government agency (Burns, 1978; Cacioppe, 1997; Conger, 1999; Horner, 1997; Judge, Piccolo, and Ilies, 2004). Measures of successful leadership commonly include turning a profit, creating a positive image, increasing organizational efficiency, and ensuring smooth operations in times of uncertainty or organizational strife. Yet when preparing an organization to handle crisis situations, most organizations look outside the organization for guidance. By looking externally for crisis expertise through education and training, leaders assume they are accessing the best practices for handling an organizational crisis and preparing appropriately. It is commonly thought that obtaining this expertise will assist the leader in being prepared for an organizational crisis and help the organization, as well as the leader, emerge relatively unscathed. After all, organizational leaders are expected to handle crisis situations when (or if) they emerge. In times of organizational hardship, disaster, and emergency, people look to their leadership to take action and “do something” to remedy the situation. How the organizational leadership reacts to certain situations and organizational crises could make or break their professional careers and the future of the entire organization.
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