Leadership in extreme contexts : when survival is not enough! : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Emergency Management, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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This research examines how people exercise authority during extreme contexts, establishes those capabilities and systems necessary to deliver effective outcomes during such situations, and investigates how, through effective leadership, society can leverage unfortunate events to thrive rather than merely survive. To achieve this, it was necessary to deconstruct the generic term leadership and examine the DNA of each of the various forms of exercising authority (including governance, leadership, management, and command). This revealed concepts that have become lost to contemporary leadership thought and a western theoretical spectrum that sometimes struggles to cope with the dynamism present in extreme contexts. Findings indicate that there is more to leadership than the characteristics and actions of a single individual and that it is not until the system, in its entirety is considered, that many of the opportunities for and challenges to successful mission completion are identified. Additionally, understanding the needs and aspirations of a broad spectrum of society is a necessary antecedent when compiling a list of those individual and collective capabilities required to generate successful outcomes. The study also highlights the importance of evolving perceptions of national security, arising from recent changes to sector definitions, and questions the current roles and utility, along with the fragmented nature, of standing national security assets. The conclusions are intended to complement the current body of scholarly leadership material by introducing the interactive Leadership Capstan to explain and shape the dynamic and complex forces at play during extreme contexts, breaking the leadership challenge into more manageable building blocks. The findings also identify those factors that are more likely to lead to thriving outcomes when the tendency is to address the presenting threats in a more transactional manner. This enhanced scholarly platform is then available to inform those development programmes charged with grooming future leaders and overcoming those deficiencies highlighted in the current policy instruments and structures that the nation employs during response operations.
The following are copyrighted to their source journals and were therefore removed: Fig 2 Chap 2 & Fig 1 Chap 6 (=Hannah et al., 2009 Fig 1); Table 2 Chap 2 (=Snowden & Boone, 2007 p. 73); Table 11 Chap 3 (=Braun & Clarke, 2006 Table 1); Fig 26 Chap 5 (=Hofstede, 1980 Fig 5).
Leadership, Crisis management, Emergency management, systems, command, governance, management, authority, extreme contexts, intensifiers, attenuators, thriving, opportunity, luck, response, recovery, people, purpose, capabilities, ownership, credibility, decision-making, security, leadership capstan