Advertisement

Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 99–106 | Cite as

Employee Reactions to Leader-Initiated Crisis Preparation: Core Dimensions

  • Marcus SelartEmail author
  • Svein Tvedt Johansen
  • Synnøve Nesse
Article

Abstract

Crisis prevention plans are usually evaluated based on their effects in terms of preventing or limiting organizational crisis. In this survey-based study, the focus was instead on how such plans influence employees’ reactions in terms of risk perception and well-being. Five different organizations were addressed in the study. Hypothesis 1 tested the assumption that leadership crisis preparation would lead to lower perceived risk among the employees. Hypothesis 2 tested the conjecture that it would also lead to a higher degree of well-being. Both hypotheses were supported. The results and their implications are discussed.

Keywords

Leadership Human resource management Crisis management Employee relations Risk perception Well-being 

Notes

Acknowledgment

We are grateful to Frida Ehn and Valla Helgadottir for the collection and analysis of the data.

References

  1. Barton, L. (2001). Crisis in organizations II. Cincinatti: College Divisions South-Western.Google Scholar
  2. Bauman, D. C. (2010). Evaluating ethical approaches to crisis leadership: Insights from unintentional harm research. Journal of Business Ethics, 98, 281–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beehr, T. A. (1995). Psychological stress in the workplace. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Breaugh, J. A., & Colihan, J. P. (1994). Measuring facets of job ambiguity: Construct validity evidence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 191–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brief, A. P., & Weiss, H. M. (2002). Affect in the workplace. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 279–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coombs, W. T. (2006). Code red in the boardroom. Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  8. Coombs, W. T. (2007a). Crisis management and communications. Gainesville: Institute for Public Relations.Google Scholar
  9. Coombs, W. T. (2007b). Ongoing crisis communication: Planning, managing, and responding. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  10. Coombs, W. T. (2007c). Protecting organization reputations during a crisis: The development and application of situational crisis communication theory. Corporate Reputation Review, 10, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cummings, L. L., & Anton, R. J. (1990). The logical and appreciative dimensions of accountability. In S. Shrivastrva, D. L. Cooperrider, & Associates (Eds.), Appreciative management and leadership: The power of positive thought and action in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  12. Cvetkovich, G., & Lofstedt, R. E. (1999). Social trust and the management of risk. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  13. Das, T. K., & Teng, B. S. (2004). The risk-based view of trust: A conceptual framework. Journal of Business and Psychology, 19, 85–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dilenschneider, R. L. (2000). The corporate communications bible: Everything you need to know to become a public relations expert. Beverly Hills: New Millennium.Google Scholar
  15. Dirks, K. T. (2006). Three fundamental questions regarding trust in leaders. In R. Bachmann & A. Zaheer (Eds.), Handbook of trust research (pp. 15–28). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  16. Dirks, K. T., & Ferrin, D. I. (2001). The role of trust in organizational settings. Organization Science, 12, 450–467.Google Scholar
  17. Dirks, K. T., & Ferrin, D. I. (2002). Trust in leadership: Meta-analytic findings and implications for organizational research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 611–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Egelhoff, W. G., & Sen, F. (1992). An information-processing model of crisis management. Management Communication Quarterly, 5, 443–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fearn-Banks, K. (2001). Crisis communications: A casebook approach. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  20. Francis, R., & Armstrong, A. (2003). Ethics as a risk management strategy: The Australian experience. Journal of Business Ethics, 45, 375–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Frewer, L. J. (2003). Trust, transparency, and social context: Implications for the social amplification of risk. In N. Pidgeon, R. E. Kasperson, & P. Slovic (Eds.), The social amplification of risk. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Frone, M. R., Russel, M., & Cooper, M. L. (1995). Job stressors, job involvement, and employee health: A test of identity theory. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 68, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Garfinkel, H. (1963). A conception of, and experiments with “trust” as a condition of stable concerted actions. In O. J. Harvey (Ed.), Motivation and social interaction (pp. 187–238). New York: Ronald Press.Google Scholar
  24. Gillespie, N., & Dietz, G. (2009). Trust repair after an organization-level failure. Academy of Management Review, 34, 127–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice. Boston: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Greenberger, D. B., & Strasser, S. (1991). The role of situational and dispositional factors in the enhancement of personal control in organizations. In L. L. Cummings & B. M. Staw (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 13). Greenwich: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  27. Herbane, B., Elliot, D., & Swartz, E. M. (2004). Business continuity management: Time for a strategic role? Long Range Planning, 37, 435–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hermann, C. F. (1963). Some consequences of crisis which limit the viability of organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 8, 61–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hodson, R. (2004). Organizational trustworthiness: Findings from the population of organizational ethnographies. Organization Science, 15, 432–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hosmer, L. T. (1996). The ethics of management (Vol. 3). Chicago: Irwin.Google Scholar
  31. Ilies, R., Schwind, K. M., & Heller, D. (2007). Employee well-being: A multilevel model linking work and nonwork domains. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 16, 326–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jones, E. E., & Davis, K. E. (1965). From acts to dispositions: The attribution process in social psychology. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 2). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  33. Lester, S. W., Kickul, J., & Bergmann, T. J. (2007). Managing employee perceptions of the psychological contract over time: The role of employer social accounts and contract fulfillment. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 28, 191–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lind, E. A., & Van den Bos, K. (2002). When fairness works: Toward a general theory of uncertainty management. In B. M. Staw & R. M. Kramer (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 24). Greenwich: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  35. Maule, A. J. (2008). Risk communication in organizations. In G. Hodgkinson & W. H. Starbuck (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of organizational decision making. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Schoorman, F. D. (1995). An integrated model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review, 20, 709–734.Google Scholar
  37. McGregor, I., Zanna, M. P., Holmes, J. G., & Spencer, S. J. (2001). Compensatory conviction in the face of personal uncertainty: Going to extremes and being oneself. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 472–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McKnight, D. H., Cummings, L. L., & Chervany, N. L. (1998). Initial trust formation in new organizational relationships. Academy of Management Review, 23, 473–490.Google Scholar
  39. Mitroff, I. I. (2001). Managing crises before they happen: What every executive & manager needs to know about crisis management. New York: American Management Association.Google Scholar
  40. Mitroff, I. I. (2005). Why some companies emerge stronger and better from a crisis: 7 essential lessons for surviving disaster. New York: American Management Association.Google Scholar
  41. Quarantelli, E. L. (1988). Disaster crisis management: A summary of research findings. Journal of Management Studies, 25, 373–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Renn, O. (1998). The role of risk communication and public dialogue for improving risk management. Risk, Decision, and Policy, 3, 5–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rowe, G., & Frewer, L. J. (2005). A typology of public engagement methods. Science, Technology and Human Values, 30, 251–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schaubroeck, J., Ganster, D. C., Sime, W. E., & Ditman, D. (1993). A field experiment testing supervisory role clarification. Personnel Psychology, 46, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schenker-Wicki, A., Inauen, M., & Olivares, M. (2010). Unmastered risks: From crisis to catastrophe. An economic and management insight. Journal of Business Research, 63, 337–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schwartz, P. (2000). When good companies do bad things. Strategy & Leadership, 28, 4–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Seeger, M. W., & Ulmer, R. R. (2001). Virtuous responses to organizational crisis: Aaron Feuerstein and Milt Cole. Journal of Business Ethics, 31, 369–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Selart, M., & Johansen, S. T. (2011). Ethical decision making in organizations: The role of leadership stress. Journal of Business Ethics, 99, 129–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Simola, S. K. (2003). Ethics of justice and care in corporate crisis management. Journal of Business Ethics, 46, 351–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Simola, S. K. (2005a). Organizational crisis management: Overview and opportunities. Consulting Psychology: Practice and Research, 57, 180–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Simola, S. K. (2005b). Concepts of care in organizational crisis prevention. Journal of Business Ethics, 62, 341–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sims, R. R., & Brinkman, J. (2002). Leaders as role models: The case of John Gutfreund at Salomon Brothers. Journal of Business Ethics, 35, 327–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sivertsson, T. (2000). Debriefing—Krisstöd—En väg till bättre arbetsmiljö (Debriefing—Crisis support—A path to a better worklife environment). Stockholm: Arbetarskyddsstyrelsen.Google Scholar
  54. Slovic, P. (2000). The perception of risk. London: Earthscan Publications.Google Scholar
  55. Snyder, P., Hall, M., Robertson, J., Jansinski, T., & Miller, J. S. (2006). Ethical rationality: A strategic approach to organizational crisis. Journal of Business Ethics, 63, 371–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Thau, S., Aquino, K., & Wittek, R. (2007). An extension of uncertainty management theory to the self: The relation between justice, social comparison orientation, and antisocial work behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 250–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tronto, J. H. (1993). Moral boundaries: A political argument for an ethic of care. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  58. Tyler, T. R., & Degoey, P. (1996). Trust in organizational authorities: The influence of motive attributions on willingness to accept decisions. In R. Kramer & T. R. Tyler (Eds.), Trust in organizations: Frontiers of theory and research (pp. 331–356). Thousand Oaks: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ulmer, R. R., & Sellnow, T. L. (2000). Consistent questions of ambiguity in organizational crisis communication: Jack in the box as a case study. Journal of Business Ethics, 25, 143–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Van den Bos, K., & Lind, A. E. (2002). Uncertainty management by means of fairness judgments. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 34, 1–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Warshaw, L. J. (1979). Managing stress. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  62. Whitener, E. M., Brodt, S. E., Korsgaard, M. A., & Werner, J. M. (1998). Managers as initiators of trust: An exchange relationship framework for understanding managerial trustworthy behavior. Academy of Management Review, 23, 513–530.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcus Selart
    • 1
    Email author
  • Svein Tvedt Johansen
    • 2
  • Synnøve Nesse
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Strategy and ManagementNorwegian School of EconomicsBergenNorway
  2. 2.Harstad University CollegeHarstadNorway

Personalised recommendations