Leadership in Dangerous Contexts

Donald J. Campbell

in The Oxford Handbook of Military Psychology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399325
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Leadership in Dangerous Contexts

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Researchers have recently become interested in examining how leadership might differ in dangerous environments relative to more conventional settings. This chapter outlines a “replenishment-of-resources” framework to address this question. The framework proposes that, on the team level, dangerous environments act to deplete the cognitive, affective, and behavioral resources of units operating in such environments; and that effective leadership in these contexts functions to replenish some of these resources and substitutes for others. More specifically, the framework argues that (a) dangerous environments can be defined by the nature and degree of threat they contain; that (b) both the type of threat and the limitations present in team characteristics determine resource depletion; and that (c) four distinctive leadership resources can function to replenish the various cognitive, affective, and behavioral deficits created by the threatening aspects of the context and the limitations of the team. The chapter concludes with a consideration of the implications of the framework for team performance in dangerous contexts.

Keywords: Team leadership; threat; dangerous environments; situational deficits; leadership resources; typology of environments

Article.  11557 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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