Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis

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9781841697901: Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis
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To say that the global workforce is under pressure may be an understatement.  At a macro level, there is the pressure of worldwide competition and the need to operate across the globe.  At a more micro level, there is the pressure of individuals or departments to produce more with increasingly fewer resources.  Pressure is at once the precipitator and the consequence of crisis.  It is ubiquitous and it is increasingly defining how we function at work.  Leaders who can flourish under pressure will be the ones to guide us through these and future turbulent times.

This new book is organized into four parts.  Part one serves to introduce the reader to the concept of crisis leadership and differentiate how leadership under pressure differs from general leadership, or leadership in times of relative calm.  Combined, the two chapters in part one provide a solid foundation of key terms (e.g., crisis, crisis management, leadership, and so on) and a comprehensive overview of crisis types and general crisis handling strategies.  Part two expands the discussion by focusing on the individual capabilities necessary to effectively lead an organization in times of intense pressure.  Here, we highlight critical leadership competencies, decision making, and the important role of designing and leading a crisis team.  Part three identifies core organizational capabilities that facilitate leadership under pressure.  These include an organizational culture or structure characterized by trust and learning, and one that is facile in operating with a global mindset.  The final section of the book brings all of the prior information together to outline the circumstances that allow some leaders to perceive crises as potential sources of opportunity (rather than only as a threat).  When this happens, the possibility for organizational innovation and positive change increases.

Each of the the chapters, as appropriate, offer two additional resources intended to guide those that lead organizations, big or small, public or private.  Leadership Links are references to web-based sources of information from both academic and practitioner communities.  Leadership Links are intended for those readers who would like additional information about the specific topic in the chapter.  The Leader’s Hot Seat poses a set of questions that managers should consider and corresponding answers.  These are intended to encourage application of the ideas from the chapter to one’s own situation.  Finally, several of the chapters include a section called From Theory to Practice that serves to connect theoretical-based research with practical implications.

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About the Author:

Erika Hayes James (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is the Bank of America Research Associate professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. She has served on the faculties of Tulane University, Emory University, and Harvard University, where she has taught courses in Organizational Behavior, Power and Leadership, and Crisis Leadership. Dr. James’ research focuses on leadership, with a particular emphasis on leadership during crises. Her work explores the competencies necessary to lead organizations throughout the life cycle of a business crisis, and emphasizes how firm leaders come to realize and manifest opportunities from crises. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including, National Public Radio, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Washington Post. Dr. James has translated her research into numerous course development materials, and she was the recipient of the Wachovia Award for Excellence in Course Materials (Innovative Case Category) for a computer-based crisis management simulation. Dr. James is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Management. She consults in the areas of decision-making under pressure, workplace diversity, and building workplace trust.

Lynn Perry Wooten, (Ph.D, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan) is a clinical associate professor of strategy, management, and organizations at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. She co-directs the Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship and the Executive Leadership Institute. Dr. Wooten teaches corporate strategy, human resource management, leadership, and organizational behavior courses. Her research focuses on how organizations respond, are resilient, and learn from crisis situations. In addition, she studies, positive organizing routines and the effectiveness of diversity management programs in organizations. Her research on executive development and diversity won awards from the Academy of Management and the consulting firm McKinsey and Company, and "The Financial Times" selected her as a "Next Generation Business Thinker in Human Resource Management. . She has also written book chapters, teaching materials, and monographs on workforce diversity, board diversity, crisis leadership, and positive organizing practices. Dr. Wooten is an associate editor of Human Resource Management journal and a consulting editor for the Journal of Business and Education. She consults in the areas of strategic HRM, positive organizing practices, and workforce diversity with both profit and not-for-profit organizations.


"Leading Under Pressure is a useful resource for teachers, students, managers and executives interested in deepening their understanding of the psychological and contextual dynamics of leading through times of crisis" - Gerard Beenen, California State University, Fullerton, USA, in Personnel Psychology

"This book is extremely detailed and includes some valuable and new perspectives on crisis leadership. The examples and figures are nicely presented in each chapter, and offers transparency to the information presented. The book offers much for a reader interested in gathering new and additional information on effective crisis leadership. Both students and practitioners will find this book as a valuable resource in their personal library." - Granville King, III, Indiana University Southeast, USA, in Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

"The book is easy to read, even for audiences not familiar with leadership or crisis response/management. ... There are many useful lessons in the book." - Martha E. Banks in PsycCRITIQUES

"This helpful book highlights the simple but important fact that in a time of crisis, effective leadership makes a huge difference for an organization under stress. The authors, James and Wooten, convincingly illustrate what great leadership looks like in difficult times and clearly demonstrate the compounding negative effect of poor leadership. The book is anchored by a solid theoretical framework, yet provides a way forward for practicing managers, and actually provides clarity on how crises can be used to a company’s advantage. It is a great primer for all those interested in the practice of leadership." - Paul McKinnon, Head of Global Human Resources, Citigroup, Inc.

"This is much more than a book on crisis leadership. It’s a handbook on how to lead, regardless of the situation. This book stands out in several ways. It is authoritative. It couples research with practice, and it is chock full of great examples. I seriously doubt that there will be a better book out there than this one." - Ronald Riggio, Director, Kravis Institute of Leadership, Claremont McKenna College, USA

"This book brings together in an interesting and accessible way some of the authors’ cutting-edge thinking on crisis leadership." - David Day, Department of Management and Organization, University of Western Australia Business School, Australia

"I don’t know of any crisis management book that explicitly and uniquely focus on the leader/leadership aspects. We live in a world where the vulnerability to crises and the breadth of types of crises grow daily. There are only a few books on the topic―and scarcely any that deal with crisis management practically and with grounded academic roots." - Christine Pearson, Global School of Management, Thunderbird, Arizona, USA

"This well-researched book is a must read for all those interested in preventing crises, or at the very least mitigating them." - Ian Mitroff, Marshall Goldsmith School of Management, Alliant University, CA, USA

"James and Wooten provide an insightful analysis of the unique aspects of a crisis that challenge the ability of leaders to make good decisions. Leaders should read this in advance of their next crisis." - Max H. Bazerman, Straus Professor, Harvard Business School, Co-author of (with Deepak Malhotra) Negotiation Genius and (with Don A. Moore) Judgment in Managerial Decision Making (7th edition)  

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781841697918: Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis

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ISBN 10:  1841697915 ISBN 13:  9781841697918
Publisher: Routledge, 2010