Leadership under crises: A research agenda for the post-COVID-19 era

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Urszula Lagowska
Filipe Sobral
Liliane Magalhães Girardin Pimentel Furtado


The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has once again reminded everyone about the critical role that leaders and leadership play in dealing with unexpected events threatening the existence of organizations worldwide. Given their position of influence, leaders receive an increased amount of attention and scrutiny during these challenging times. This is because people expect leaders to provide guidance, comfort, hope, and accurate information. Such sudden spotlight compiled with a strong need for leadership under uncertainty has been shown to benefit even non-prototypical leaders in the form of bipartisan support and increased perception of effectiveness and charisma. However, recent events demonstrate that many leaders are unable to harness the opportunity posed by the crises, such that some of them lose support, face resistance from their stakeholders, or fail to save their organizations from economic distress. Considering that the only certain thing about crises is that they are likely to happen again, we argue that more attention should be paid to leadership in highly disruptive contexts.


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Lagowska, U., Sobral, F., & Furtado, L. M. G. P. (2020). Leadership under crises: A research agenda for the post-COVID-19 era. Brazilian Administration Review, 17(2), e200062. https://doi.org/10.1590/1807-7692bar2020200062