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Leaders as emotional managers: Emotion management in response organisations during a hostage taking in a Swedish prison
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
Karlstad Univ, Dept Psychol & Social Studies, Karlstad, Sweden.
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8274-6065
2015 (English)In: Leadership & Organization Development Journal, ISSN 0143-7739, E-ISSN 1472-5347, Vol. 36, no 6, p. 697-711Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop a deeper understanding of how leaders manage their own and others' emotions in professional crisis management organizations during severely demanding episodes. The empirical case is a hostage drama that occurred in a small Swedish town. Although staff at the local prison were situationally prepared and trained in incident exercises, two inmates with knives fled the prison after taking a warden hostage.

Design/methodology/approach - A grounded theory approach was used. In all, 14 informants from four Swedish authorities were interviewed on the basis of their involvement in the hostage drama.

Findings - According to the analysis, an emergency response leader's emotion management is framed by an organizationally embedded emotional regime which is summed up in two core themes: focus on the task and do not let emotions interfere; and provide the task force with maximum physical and psychological security. The leader's emotion management within this framework consists of two interdependent processes, one more organization oriented and one more individual oriented.

Research limitations/implications - Small sample, lack of representativeness, and lack of illumination of possible gender-related aspects.

Practical implications - The suggested model may be valuable in educational settings.

Originality/value - A new integrative, theoretical process model of leadership and emotion management in complex, stressful operations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 36, no 6, p. 697-711
Keywords [en]
Leadership, Stress, Bureaucracy, Emotion management, Hostage taking, Response organizations
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5260DOI: 10.1108/LODJ-11-2013-0142ISI: 000360579500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-5260DiVA, id: diva2:783786
Available from: 2015-01-27 Created: 2015-01-27 Last updated: 2018-06-29Bibliographically approved

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Alvinius, AidaLarsson, Gerry

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