Linking crises management and leadership competencies: The role of human resource development

By: Lynn Perry Wooten, Erika Hayes James

Wooten, L.P., & James, E. (2008). Linking crisis management and leadership competencies: The role of human resource development. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 10(3), 352-379.


The problem and the solution. Most executives are aware of the negative consequences associated with an organizational crisis and focus on communications and public relations as a reactive strategy. However, many neglect the other leadership responsibilities associated with organizational crises.This may result from lack of formal training and on-the-job experiences that prepare executives to lead crises. Executive who enable their organizations to recover from a crisis exhibit a complex set of competencies in each of the five phases of a crisis—signal detection, preparation and prevention, damage control and containment, business recovery, and reflection and learning. In this article, through the use of qualitative research design and the analysis of firms in crises, we examine leadership competencies during each phase of a crisis. In addition, this article links the important role of human resource development to building organizational capabilities through crisis management activities.