Handbook of Research on Crisis Leadership in Organizations
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Handbook of Research on Crisis Leadership in Organizations

Edited by Andrew J. DuBrin

With contributions from many of the leading researchers in the field, the Handbook of Research on Crisis Leadership in Organizations summarizes much of the theory, research, and opinion about various facets of crisis leadership in order to advance this emerging field. It recognizes that crises have become an almost inevitable part of organizational life, and describes how leaders can facilitate people getting through the crisis.
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Chapter 1: Personal attributes and behaviors of effective crisis leaders

Andrew J. DuBrin


Our study of crisis leadership in organizations begins with a careful look at many of the traits, characteristics, and behaviors often associated with effective leadership in a variety of situations involving a crisis. Effective refers primarily to such factors as productivity, survival, and maintaining morale. Crisis leadership is the process of leading group members through a sudden and largely unanticipated, intensely negative, and emotionally draining circumstance. The personal attributes and behaviors of crisis leaders will also be mentioned from various perspectives throughout this handbook because understanding the leader is central to understanding crisis leadership. New crises arise regularly, yet a tentative classification of examples of crises facing leaders and managers is presented in Table 1.1. A new crisis can arise suddenly. For example, a company might be selling lower-price prescription drugs imported from another country. The country in which the company operates declares that selling such drugs is illegal, placing the company owner/leader in a crisis mode. Following the chapter structure throughout the handbook, in this chapter we report first theory and research on the attributes and behaviors of crisis leaders, followed by a review of opinion and advice about the topic. We then shift to implications for leadership practice, followed by directions for future research, and a chapter summary.

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