research@hec - Issue #17 - (Page III)
for such responsibilities. Motivation also stems from things like prior success, general leadership background, and individual differences as well as vicarious experience and crisis training. Sommer stresses that overall, motivated people process both information quality and quantity better than others. They do not get bogged down with information, even in complex cases like Hurricane Katrina, nor are they paralyzed by a lack of information, as was the case with H1N1.
BUILDING CRISIS LEADERS “Crisis leadership efficacy is a matter of making the most of both who you are and what you have learned about crises,” Sommer comments. The studies conducted reveal the inter-dependence of the person (general leadership background and traits), training (simulation, crisis protocol), and motivation to lead in a crisis. The first two factors empirically contribute to C-LEAD scores and in turn indicate the third—who is most likely to be motivated to lead and make effective decisions in a crisis. One study suggests that simulations are one of the most effective ways to build crisis leadership skills, and Sommer believes it would be worth testing this hypothesis further. She also believes teams deserve additional attention, as the high complexity and multiple stakeholders inherent to crisis situations mean that teams are likely to complement crisis leaders. As for a connection between her research and the future crises, Sommer comments, “C-LEAD could be helpful with public health and safety crises that are acute, whether they are man-made or natural, when time is of the essence, and have a direct impact on well-being and people’s lives. This would include terrorist attacks, hurricanes, flu pandemics
APPLICATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE
While it may be a little early to advice companies to use the C-LEAD scale, the tool development and associated tests highlight a number of valuable observations. • Simply knowing and practicing crisis response protocol is not enough to predict crisis leadership efficacy. Similarly, general leadership skill is not sufficient to predict crisis leadership skill. • The ability to assess information quickly and accurately is the most significant indication of crisis leadership potential. • The greater the confidence with which people make crisis-related decisions, the higher the quality of their decisions. • Motivation and willingness to lead are positively related to decision-making accuracy.
* Literature from the fields of organizational behavior, psychology, government, and public health. ** Including crisis responders at a United States federal agency outbreak. who had participated in an agency-wide pandemic influenza
major accidents, and oil spills; as well as potentially some corporate or government crises, like the Tylenol drug crisis or an assassination attempt.” I
* Crisis Leader Efficacy in Assessing and Deciding.
Based on an interview with Amy Sommer, assistant professor of management and human resources, and on the article “MeasurA. Sommer, and W. Zhu, forthcoming in Leadership Quarterly.
ing the Efficacy of Leaders to Assess Information and Make Decisions in a Crisis: The C-LEAD Scale” by C. Hadley, T. Pittinsky,
The researchers interviewed 50 high level people who had successfully led a broad range of public health and safety crisis situations (i.e. natural disasters, riots, terrorist attacks, etc.). They combined their findings with a thorough review of pertinent literature* to create and refine the 9-point Crisis Leader Efficacy Assessing and Deciding (C-LEAD) scale. They then tested the scale in three studies conducted in the United States involving, respectively, 282, 85, and 300 managers from a broad range of occupations**. The first two studies showed that C-LEAD predicts “decision making difficulty and confidence in crisis contexts better than measures of general leadership efficacy and procedural crisis preparedness,” and the third study shows that the scale predicts “motivation to lead in a crisis, voluntary crisis leader role-taking, and decision-making accuracy as a leader.”
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of research@hec - Issue #17
Cover & Contents
How to Find Good Crisis Leaders before Trouble Strikes
Impact of Social Movements on Financial Institutions
European Law: The Impact of Soft Law on the Courts
The Economic Impact of Academic Entrepreneurship
research@hec - Issue #17
research@hec - Issue #17 - Cover & Contents (Page I)
research@hec - Issue #17 - How to Find Good Crisis Leaders before Trouble Strikes (Page II)
research@hec - Issue #17 - How to Find Good Crisis Leaders before Trouble Strikes (Page III)
research@hec - Issue #17 - Impact of Social Movements on Financial Institutions (Page IV)
research@hec - Issue #17 - Impact of Social Movements on Financial Institutions (Page V)
research@hec - Issue #17 - European Law: The Impact of Soft Law on the Courts (Page VI)
research@hec - Issue #17 - European Law: The Impact of Soft Law on the Courts (Page VII)
research@hec - Issue #17 - The Economic Impact of Academic Entrepreneurship (Page VIII)