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Crisis leadership as a communicative process: The challenge of managing crises through communication with stakeholders
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Media and Communication Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6645-2980
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Crisis leadership is fundamental to preventing, preparing for, managing and learning from crises. Leaders are responsible for and expected to minimize the impact of crises, enhance crisis management capacity and coordinate crisis management efforts. In this endeavor, leadership and management functions converge, since effective crisis management demands both strategy development and implementation during challenging situations. According to Boin, t’Hart, Stern and Sundelius, crisis leadership should include five tasks: a) making sense of the crisis; b) making the right decisions for dealing with the crisis; c) framing the crisis for stakeholders; d) solving the crisis in order to restore normalcy to the organization; and e) learning from the crisis. Little empirical research has acknowledged the important communication role played by crisis leaders. Existing crisis communication research focus on organizational leaders’ communicative management of the organization’ s reputation, analyzing crisis response strategies of organizations such as framing, image restoration, and situational crisis communication , which involves adapting messages according to the type of crisis. Leadership research has largely focused on leader’s personality traits and behavior which influence their ability to deal with and get subordinates through organizational crises. Hence, crisis leadership has been reduced to managing the image of the organization during crisis and on leaders’ personal or transformational skills. 

In this study, crisis leadership is studied as a communicative process, in which individuals verbalize and make sense of contingencies and objectives, establish a common purpose, and take action. We address the following research questions: (1) How do crisis leaders communicatively create resources, organize and prepare for crisis management and crisis communication? (2) How do crisis leaders develop communicative strategies for crisis management and communication with internal and external stakeholders? (3) What challenges do crisis leaders face when managing crises through communicating with stakeholders?

Results of the study illustrate how crisis leaders in local, regional and national contexts develop strategies for managing crises through their communication with stakeholders. We discuss the role of preparation and resources for communication in crisis management in different types of crises such as terrorism attacks, shootings, natural disasters and crises of trust.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Crisis leadership, communicative process, crisis communication
National Category
Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-37711OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-37711DiVA, id: diva2:1371081
Conference
SRA-E 2018: Risk & Uncertainty – From Critical Thinking to Practical Impact. Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden, 18–20 June 2018
Available from: 2019-11-19 Created: 2019-11-19 Last updated: 2019-11-19Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Catrin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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More languages
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  • asciidoc
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