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Crisis Leadership: An Examination of Effective Leadership Styles and Mindset

Morgan Alexandria Blount, Johnson & Wales University


Every day organizations are required to meet the needs of a global, unpredictable and changing environment (Mendes et al., 2016). Within this environment lies an inevitable opportunity for a crisis to arise. In a span of 10 years, more than 90,000 business crises were reported (James et al., 2011). Therefore, leaders need to understand the leadership style that could be most effective during a crisis. Leadership during a crisis can ultimately enhance or weaken an organization. This study utilized the Charismatic, Ideological, and Pragmatic (CIP) Leadership model to investigate which leadership style was perceived to be most effective in a crisis and whether leaders can adapt their behaviors to meet current challenges. The CIP model of leadership proposes three sensemaking approaches shown to be effective throughout different events (Crayne & Medeiros, 2020). Additionally, this study utilized Carol Dweck's (2006) approach to determine if a leader has a growth mindset or fixed mindset. This research explored which leadership style within the CIP Leadership model was most effective and if leaders can change their leadership style to adapt to the current events. This convergent mixed-methods study examined if there was a relationship between the preferred leadership style and mindset to determine if natural leadership style can be adjusted to lead through a dynamic environment. Participants in this study included full-time human resources professionals. Data collection was completed through an online questionnaire that assessed demographic information, leader preference, perceived similarity, and mindset. The resulting action may fill a gap in the literature to determine if there is a relationship between leadership style and mindset. This study can help leaders understand the leadership style within the CIP model of senior managers and determine if the behaviors can be developed. Human resources professionals and leadership teams may develop strategies to help managers lead an organization through a crisis.

Subject Area

Business administration|Organizational behavior|Management

Recommended Citation

Blount, Morgan Alexandria, "Crisis Leadership: An Examination of Effective Leadership Styles and Mindset" (2021). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI28769910.