Edited by Andrew J. DuBrin
Chapter 14: The leadership role in crisis prevention
Leadership in response to a crisis is reasonably well understood – albeit not always well executed. In contrast, leadership in terms of crisis preparedness and crisis prevention is less well understood and still developing as a management discipline. One of the conundrums of modern crisis management is that most top executives recognize nothing damages an organization faster or deeper than a crisis, or issue mismanaged. Yet many of these same executives fail to take proper steps to prevent a crisis happening in the first place. Or, as Stocker (1997, p. 192) observed, when you look at the majority of crises that occur, what happened should have been on or near the top of the list of possible events. ‘Why?’ he asked. ‘Wasn’t anyone prepared?’ This chapter explores some of the reasons for this dangerous disconnect and then develops a fuller picture of the specific roles of top leadership to protect the organization by driving effective crisis preparedness. It concludes by describing an emerging new leadership framework which supports the move from crisis response to crisis prevention.
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