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

The general problem is absent or confusing organizational leadership and communication results in poor employee performance. Bohn and Grafton (2002) reported a highly significant correlation (r = .76, p < .01) between perceived leadership and organizations’ ability “to cope effectively with the demands, challenges, stressors, and opportunities it encounters within the business environment” (¶ 3). Organizations with ineffective leadership were perceived as performing at significantly lower levels. Additionally, the relationship between leadership and performance varied by industry, with the type of organization accounting for 14% of the variance in perceived leadership (Bohn & Grafton, 2002).

 

The specific problem is many supervisors fail to communicate about how the unprecedented financial crisis may influence organization and worker performance. Despite the fact that 71% of employees believe their leaders should proactively communicate about the current economic problems, more than half of surveyed workers reported supervisors have said nothing about how the financial crisis will affect their companies. This is problematic since about 62% of employees expect their organizations will have difficulty meeting performance objectives in 2009 (Weber Shandwick, 2008).

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