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 14: The leadership role in crisis prevention

Tony Jaques


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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