Empowering Readiness: Influencing Crisis Management Success Outcomes

  • Jennifer Cronin

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This theoretical study adopted a qualitative research approach to explore how crisis leadership influenced crisis management readiness in an increasingly volatile global tourism environment in the context of the 2010 Thai Red Shirt crisis. The main objective of the study was to derive a substantive theory that explained the social influence processes associated with crisis readiness. A single, multi-unit hotel business operating in Thailand was used as the case organisation for the research context. Since the contextual issues of crisis management and crisis leadership heavily influenced the choice of research methodology, Grounded Theory design was chosen as the most relevant and robust methodology to achieve theory generation from this study. While the primary data source involved in-depth interviews, multiple secondary data sources were also incorporated to augment the research findings; including, company reports, correspondence, television interviews and an online survey.

Empowering Readiness was the basic social psychological process that emerged as the core category from this study and responded to the concerns of the staff community that a state of crisis readiness needed to exist in the organisation. The lower order categories identified the most important properties that the participants considered to be key to being crisis ready. These interrelated dimensions explained the higher order categories; Crisis Leadership Influencers and Experiential Learning, which contributed to the emergent core category. The interrelatedness of each of the basic social processes has been described in the proposed theoretical model of Empowering Readiness. The model depicts a set of scales to explain how Crisis Readiness is moderated or influenced by institutional memory loss or retention, and its effect on the scale’s balance beam between Crisis Leadership Influencers and Experiential Learning.

In conclusion, this study posits a newly developed substantive theory that identified the core category of Empowering Readiness as key to improving an organisation’s crisis readiness. The significance of this study lies in its contribution to the field of crisis leadership research and the social processes of Empowering Readiness. Drawing from the extant literature and the study’s emergent theory, the research findings propose a Living Manual to prepare organisations for crisis readiness and ultimately contribute positively to crisis management efficacy.
Date of Award13 Feb 2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorElizabeth Roberts (Supervisor), Carmen Cox (Supervisor) & Kenneth Parry (Supervisor)

Cite this