Leadership – effective crisis management
In our everyday life we are likely to be threatened by crisis. The seriousness of the crisis can either be reduced or totally avoided only if proper strategies to crisis management are adopted. Every organization should be well equipped with the knowledge of how their impacts could be lessened or reduced. The crisis management knowledge depends on the type of the organization. Thus, different organizations apply various approaches to manage their crisis. Morgan (1996)
For any crisis to be properly managed, then the causal factors should first of all be established. It does not matter the size of the organization because the effects of crisis are far reaching. Most of crises are ambiguous and complex thus it is not easy to take control over the events.
In fighting a crisis, my organization is well prepared to handle it. There is a crisis management committee whose aim is to help the organization in fighting disasters that may arise. This board that is entrusted with the task of dealing with crises conducts researches to either establish the causes for crises or to learn more about what could have been the cause for the crises.
In dealing with these crises, the organization employs both the top-down and down-top approaches in making vital decisions but mostly it uses the down-up approach because it is very much aware that it is the members who feel the impacts and that it is them who should devise ways on how to solve these miseries. Again, when down-up approach is used people feel as if they are part and parcel of that organization and feel obligated to protect the future of the organization.
When decisions are made or generated from the base of the organization, they feel they are valued in that any decisions that are to be made they must be consulted. Also this down-up approach helps the members to develop a positive attitude towards the running of the organization because they do not feel that the decisions are imposed to them by those at the top. This approach ensures that resources have been allocated to the desired projects. Organizations while dealing with crisis should be gender sensitive to men and women as well as the roles they play.
Those who control the knowledge of crisis management should first familiarize themselves with the historical background of the problem and critically analyze the harm it can do to the firm. For example, if it is an issue of unemployment then they should establish the causes of unemployment and address them properly. A good job according to Scein (1992) is that which can enable one to enjoy all those opportunities which are associated with it for example, allowances rights and health concerns.
The board of the organization is the body that is in control of all the firm’s affairs and it is imperative that it should be gender sensitive. They should be aware of the role that women play in the economy. Unemployment is a feature of capitalism which should be properly addressed.
In organizations the people who control the knowledge of crisis management establish a set of policies useful in managing economical growth and ensuring that resources are properly utilized.
During the times of crisis the crisis management board put their heads together in finding solutions that would solve their problem for once and all. If the board does not liaise with the members then everlasting solutions cannot be achieved.
When the crisis managers are working on ways to control disasters they do rough calculations to see and estimate the amount that will be needed. They try to promote opportunities for all. These for example could be improved technologies, training institutions or business opportunities.
These policies should also be context specific that is, the categories of informal workers. Also, the approach to be employed should also be participatory and inclusive. People should be well organized for their say to be heard. Policies should be developed through consultation forums. Failure to this people would feel misrepresented. Leadership entails ability to effect human behavior in a way that suits your needs. Some scholars like Max Weber define it as the power to impose your will on others.
A good leader should be able to direct people in the right direction. The essence of leadership is to know the limitations posed by his culture and then devise means of overcoming them. He also noted that even though sometimes culture can define leadership there are times when the organization managers should define the type of leadership that they expect if development is to be realized. A good leader should also know the shared cultural values in his organization and then subject each of them to a rigorous test to know the value of each.
The role of defining a group is for the leader who analyses the cultural values of the organization. Most groups are defined on the basis of their shared history or shared cultural values. For one to identify himself /herself with the group then one must learn how the norms of that particular organization operate and the common assumptions that are held by the members of that organization. People who share similar sentiments form a society which occupies a well designated area such that the group is defined by its boundaries. Knowing who belongs to a particular group or not is what is meant by the term- group definition (Schein E H, 1992).
The term organization as a concept is highly debated and contested. The individual conduct is not only influenced by the habitual relations of his/her fellows but is also influenced by institutional scenes as they vary. Centralizing institutions kills the autonomy of institutions and also curtails the rights of free communication and creativity. Political institutions which are highly centralized eliminate people who try to stand in their way. They usually threaten and instill fears in their population so that they could assert their powers. People stop feeling like they are part and parcel of that organization. They see themselves as inferior to their leaders who exercise excessive powers them.
Molding a structure of an organization is a complex thing. One need to be dynamic, open minded and informed so that he can solve new and complex problems. Politics in institutions can hinder the process of decision making in that bureaucratic organizations tend to make the professionals superior to others by keeping their knowledge as well as their intensions in secret. By doing this they keep the views of the members away for they cannot know when there is a matter that needs to be addressed. This is done with a motive of avoiding criticisms from the members.
The organizational politics according to Morgan (1996) come about due to the relationship between power interest sharing and conflicts in organizations. There are some institutions that are not political for example, trade unions.
These are not political organizations but sometimes they have political feel. They are bureaucratically organized. They act as checks and balances against misuse of powers by the government. They also try to agitate for the rights of workers. These trade unions are highly centralized thus decisions flow from top to down, by the definition of political organization as a group of people who have come together to access and exercise their political power.
People might wonder how leaders make effective decisions during a time of transition but a classic example that would make this clear is the Rwanda genocide of 1994. In this genocide many Tutsi were killed by Hutu.
After the war many people who had participated in the war fled to the neighboring countries like Tanzania and Congo for search of peace. The leaders had to make sure that similar genocide would never take place. The Rwandan government in collaboration with other organizations like United Nations was able to start tribunal court so that the perpetrators could be brought to book. A lot of researchers were conducted to try to establish what sparked of that genocide.
To conclude, we can say that an organization depends on the type of leadership it adopts. Either centralized or not organizations they are based on shared sentiments- values, beliefs culture and history. We have also seen how groups form themselves and adopt themselves to meet their interests and needs. The type of leadership an organization has dictates on how the crises are managed. If the organization is democratic in nature, people are free to decide and do what they think is useful but in centralized organizations decision come from the top and tickle down to the ground. Most of these decision makers do not consult the members of these organizations.
Morgan G (1996), Images of organizations. Thousand oaks, CA: Sage publications.
Schein Edgar H (1992), Organizational culture and leadership. 3rd Ed, San Francisco: Jossey Bass publishers.