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Leadership in times of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the business climate as well as working conditions for people in all kinds of organizations in Sweden, and elsewhere. The economy has slowed down and some extreme measures has been taken by political and governmental actors to control the spread of the virus and avoid economic disaster. In order for organizations to survive, and organizational members to stay healthy, leaders and managers have been forced to simultaneously reinvent organizational practices and their role as leaders.

Background and research questions:

This project investigates the experiences of leading and managing through the corona virus pandemic. The project aims to better understand how leadership practises evolves in everyday work in a situation of extreme uncertainty. As the corona virus spreads across the world, leaders face new demands and challenges from both within and outside the organization. To an unseen extent people are working from home and travels are reduced to a minimum, if not at all banned. We explore how these new challenges are framed, expressed and translated into (new) leadership practices. The main research question is:

  • What happens to leaders self-perception and leadership practices in times of the radical change?

Research approach:

This project is carried out as a longitudinal real-life study covering 12-18 months, starting in April 2020. A series of interviews are planned to taking place on a regular basis with a total of 35 leaders/ managers representing different industries, as well as the public sector and the non for profit sector. Approximately one third of managers are working outside Sweden.

Further information:

Funding, publications and key findings yet to come.

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