Leadership Styles During Crisis: ‘We’re All In This Together... The Crisis As New Normality’

Marian PREDA, Oana Maria STAN

Abstract


The study comprises an inquiry into decision- making managerial styles and attitudes towards crisis and recession, by means of 219 structured interviews conducted with managers in 2009, 2015 and 2016. From the refl exive-pragmatic perspective of a cost-benefi t analysis, specifi c patterns emerge concerning autocratic and participative trends, gender and the private vs. public sector. The article streamlines the role of leadership in coping with crisis demands. It highlights strategies by which managers take delicate decisions and communicate them, perform emotional labor during downsizing and respond to deteriorating workplace standards. Results suggest that organizational managers draw more inspiration from artists, historical fi gures and movie characters, and are less inclined to acquire insight from sector-relevant entrepreneurs. As an indicator of globalization, international role models are, overall, considerably more mentioned than national ones. Valuable facets of managerial assignments include opportunities to exert agency through ownership and empowerment. Interviewees interpret their self-determination as a possibility to deliver a meaningful contribution, while enjoying work for its own sake. For high income, time-poor managers, both intensive and extensive time investments signal the downside of schedule fl exibility due to the acceleration and intensifi cation of work rhythms at atypical intervals, during the weekend or holiday overspills. Role overlapping and confl icts are discussed in connection to implications for managerial training, task assignment and organizational staffi ng.


Keywords


managerial style, authority, leadership, economic crisis, decision-making process, downsizing.

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