Date of Award

Fall 9-20-2022

Document Type

Dissertation - University of Massachusetts Global access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Cindy Petersen, Ed.D

Second Advisor

Keith Larick, Ed.D

Third Advisor

Dianna Kitamura, Ed.D

Fourth Advisor

Lisa Simon, Ed.D


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to identify and describe strategies exemplary U.S. Army financial managers used to lead in crisis using the 5 critical tasks of strategic crisis leadership: sense-making, decision making, and coordination, meaning-making, accounting, and learning (Boin, ‘t Hart, Stern, & Sundelius, 2017) during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

Methodology: This qualitative multiple case study was used allowing for in-depth exploration. A multiple case study was selected to explore how exemplary U.S. Army financial managers led during the COVID-19 pandemic while on active duty in various locations. The primary data collection method was semi-structured interviews to gather the lived experiences of 5 U.S. Army financial managers who have successfully led through a crisis. The chosen participants were the experts in their field of financial literacy who assist soldiers transitioning from the U.S. Army to civilian life.

Findings: The major findings of this study were constructed from 5 exemplary U.S. Army financial managers’ interviews resulting in 18 themes and 1,238 frequencies related to Boin et al.’s (2017) 5 critical tasks of strategic crisis leadership (CTSCL). From the collected data, 6 major findings and 2 unexpected findings surfaced.

Conclusion: The study identified and described how 5 exemplary U.S. Army financial managers led their organization during the COVID-19 pandemic by assisting soldiers transitioning from the military to civilian life. The study resulted in 6 conclusions related to taking care of their soldiers, communicating effectively, networking with various agencies to ensure their technology was functioning, building positive working relationships with their subordinates, and setting an example for soldiers to emulate.

Recommendations: This study was conducted from the lived experiences of 5 exemplary U.S. Army financial managers. It is recommended that this study be replicated with civilians because all participants were active-duty females. In addition, this research should be replicated with males to provide data on possible gender differences as regard leading to crisis. A mixed methods study gathers quantitative and qualitative data and utilizes the findings to create a survey. The thematic team analyzed the findings of 8 research leaders leading during the COVID-19 pandemic.