Crisis Communication:
A National Study of Leadership During the Financial Crisis
2009 - Ruby A. Rouse, PhD & Rich S. Schuttler, PhD

Problem

         Absent or confusing organizational leadership and communication often results in poor employee performance.

         Many supervisors fail to communicate about how the unprecedented financial crisis may influence organization and worker performance.

 

Methodology

        An online survey conducted in the summer of 2009 collected insight from 1,150 working adults across the United States.

 

Major Findings

         The financial crisis negatively influenced employee and organizational performance.

        Leaders have not changed the way they communicate with employees during the crisis.

        A disparity of organizational outlook and shared knowledge exists.

         Supervisor leadership and communication significantly correlate with the performance of employees during the financial crisis.

        Working adults appreciate leaders, who are transparent, honest, and encouraging.

        Many supervisors use threats and intimidation during the financial crisis.

 
So what, who cares, and what does it mean?

        Why should leaders change? Leaders have responsibilities to adapt on the behalf of their employees, organizations, and society.

        How should leaders change? Leaders must increase their transparency, honesty, and visibility during the financial crisis. They must also resist micromanagement, misinformation, threats, and intimidation.

         What results can be expected if leaders change? Effective adaptation during the financial crisis should significantly improve employee outcomes, such as morale, innovation, openness, collaboration, and willingness to change.

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