Crisis communication: A national study of leadership during the financial crisis

Source: Dr. Ruby Rouse and Dr. Richard Schuttler, University of Phoenix, September 20, 2009

From a summary:
Many employees report employers are increasingly using threats and intimidation tactics to cope with the financial crisis, according to a national study of leadership sponsored by the University of Phoenix Office of Research Support (ORS). “We’re told if we discussed layoffs or downsizing, we would be fired – immediately,” one worker said. Another individual observed, “Questions get you written up and/or fired.”

Belligerent behavior is a “disturbing leadership trend in the financial crisis,” according to researchers Dr. Ruby Rouse and Dr. Richard Schuttler (2009), who received a grant to study supervisor communication during the crisis. In the summer of 2009, 1,150 working adults in the United States evaluated the leadership and communication effectiveness of their supervisors. Open-ended comments from employees contained repeated descriptions of threatening communication, such as:

* “Be thankful you have a job.”
* “You can be replaced.”
* “There are lots of qualified people on the street who would love your job.”
* “You never know who will be gone tomorrow.”
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Executive summary

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