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Elements Leaders Need to Handle Crisis

There is a good amount of leadership literature that suggests about qualities the leaders must possess to handle crisis management, yet there is every possibility of getting confused if one fails to see the forest while standing beneath a tree. Therefore, this study opts to summarize the nodal factors in this issue like below: The leaders should be able to touch the right chord of their followers in the moments of crises and regroup them (Beaudan, 2002). Leaders should be able to garner faith and confidence from their followers in hours of crises (Banutu-Gomex, 2004).

Leaders should take charge of the crises and provide clear direction to the followers (Boin and hart, 2003; Burnett, 1998). Leaders should identify the leadership qualities among followers that can be instrumental in crises management and accordingly, empower them to utilize their potential (Valle, 1999, Goleman, 2000). Leaders should have own network through public relation skill and should utilize that strength (Grunig and Dozier). Leaders should be able to direct and govern effective group effort (Pearson and Clair).

Leaders should be able to hold the spirit of the organization together in such moments. Though this list could have been far more longer, yet this study prefers to remain confined within its premise where it focuses more on crisis management in the world of trade and commerce and not on general disaster management. Accordingly it imagines an ideal framework of Crisis Leadership model and goes on to review various leadership models as the next step of its quest towards finding effective crisis leaders. Leadership Theories

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It would be improper to introduce leadership model without introducing leadership theories, which can be classified into four categories like Trait, Behavioral, Contingency and Transformational theories. For the ease of understanding, this paper reviews them in brief. Brief Chronology of Leadership Theories Evidences of serious research on leadership dates back a little more than a century, when the “Great Man” theories came into being. However, it expanded over the years, which can be chronologically classified as below. 1900-s: Great Man” Theories: They intended to find leadership qualities among the elite class only.

1930-s: “Group Theory”: Increasing democratic environment influenced the researchers to dream about leaders emerging out of the mass 1940-50-s: “Trait Theory”: It probed the characteristics of the leaders with special emphasis on their traits and reached its conclusion that leaders are born, and cannot be made, because good leaders have some common traits in them. 1950-60-s: “Behavior Theory”: The void in trait theory sparked fresh research on the behavioral process of the leaders, and in no time it opposed the trait theory by declaring that leaders can be made by injecting behavioral traits appropriate to leadership.

1960-70-s: “Contingency/Situational Theory”: The realization that human behavioral process is actually a dynamic subject due to the dynamism of social situations, had prompted the researchers to record various possible situations and the desired leadership behaviors under each of such situations. That endeavor too could not help much, as situations kept on changing more often then the researchers expected. Thus, attempts to create a leader out of decision-trees or wheel diagrams could not take off.

1980 onwards: Excellence Theories: From then on the researchers have adopted a new approach to cover the shortcomings of the earlier studies and thus they now focus more on “end product”, where the existing leaders are evaluated in the light of their degree of success, where the study attempts to cover every little detail of the leaders. (Transformational, 2007). In short, it was from the time of trait theory, the hunt for ideal leadership model really flagged of, before it provided models over the years.

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