Orientations of Positive Leadership in Times of Crisis

Erika Hayes James and Lynn Perry Wooten

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199734610
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Orientations of Positive Leadership in Times of Crisis

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This chapter identifies three crisis leadership orientations that research suggests are necessary for leaders and their organizations to manifest positivity in crisis. We argue that leaders who have a mindset for learning and adapting to rapidly changing circumstances, seeing possibilities amid the tragic circumstances of a crisis, and expecting trust and trustworthiness will be more inclined to identify positive outcomes in crisis situations. This chapter also offers a set of corresponding behaviors that characterize the three crisis leadership orientations. The chapter begins with a brief introduction to crises and crisis phases. We then introduce the leadership orientations and their respective behaviors, followed by a discussion of the types of positive outcomes that can be manifested from the leadership orientations. These outcomes include benefits for the individual crisis leader, the organization, and its stakeholders. As we discuss in the section on future directions, the manifestation of these outcomes may be contingent upon both organizational factors and the nature and source of the crisis.

Keywords: Crisis; leadership; positive organizational scholarship; crisis leadership; crisis management; learning; trust

Article.  9480 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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