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Crisis dynamics, leadership behavior, and employee outcomes in public organizations

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Examining how variations in crisis severity relate to public leaders’ and employees’ reactions in different phases of the COVID-19 crisis, this paper focuses on leadership behaviors and employee outcomes with relevance for citizen outcomes. We utilize panel data from surveys of employees in Danish police units, hospitals and assisted living facilities, while the crisis severity indicators (disease, citizen perceptions and government restrictions) are based on nationwide data and citizen surveys. When the crisis severity was high in the initial crisis phase, employees had higher public service motivation, user orientation and job satisfaction, and they experienced that their leader used more visionary transformational leadership. In the later phase, visionary transformational leadership was still perceived to be more prevalent, when the crisis was severe, while employees perceived less verbal transactional leadership and lower user orientation. Job satisfaction was still positively associated with the crisis severity. This implies that public leaders should be prepared to handle complex employee reactions when the next crisis happens.
Original languageDanish
Publication year2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventDanish Political Science Association: Annual Conference - Hotel Vejlefjord, Vejle, Denmark
Duration: 28 Oct 202129 Oct 2021


ConferenceDanish Political Science Association: Annual Conference
LocationHotel Vejlefjord
Internet address

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