Date of Award
Dissertation - University of Massachusetts Global access only
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Bradley Tooker, Ed.D
Keith Larick, Ed.D
Nikki Salas, Ed.D.
Walt Buster, Ed.D.
Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to identify and describe strategies exemplary city managers used to lead in crisis using the Five Critical Tasks of Strategic Crisis Leadership (sense making, decision making and coordination, meaning making, accounting, and learning; Boin et al., 2017) during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. In addition, the purpose was to understand and describe the experiences of exemplary leaders during a time of crisis.
Methodology: This qualitative multiple case study was used to allow in-depth exploration. A multiple case study was selected to explore how exemplary city managers led during the COVID-19 pandemic in central coasts counties. The primary method of data collection was through standardized, semistructured, open-ended interviews to gather the lived experiences of five city managers successfully leading through a crisis.
Findings: The researcher conducted in-depth interviews of exemplary city managers and collected observational data and artifacts, which produced 17 themes and 636 frequencies. The research described the importance of information gathering and processing, strong crisis leadership, collaboration, and self-reflection related to the Five Critical Tasks of Strategic Crisis Leadership: sense making, decision making and coordination, meaning making, accounting, and learning.
Conclusion: Based on this study’s findings, seven conclusions were revealed to strengthen the understanding of the Five Critical Tasks of Strategic Crisis Leadership used by exemplary city managers to effectively lead during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
Recommendations: This study was conducted through the lenses of the city managers. It is recommended that a replication study be conducted with county administrators, mayors, local and state offices of emergency services, fire chiefs, and police chiefs who led through the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, the study could be replicated with military, civilian organizations, and nonprofit organizations to gain further insight into their crisis leadership. This study could also be replicated in another state or country using a different type of crisis such as war, famine, acts of malevolence, and natural or financial crises.
Fareedzai, Lutfullah, "The Art of Leadership in Times of Crisis, A Study on How City Managers Led During the COVID-19 Crisis" (2023). Dissertations. 510.
Available for download on Tuesday, April 01, 2025