Leadership styles in supply chain disruptions: a multimethod evaluation based on practitioner insights

Arash Azadegan, Iana Shaheen, Kevin Linderman, Alireza Fereidooni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: The authors empirically determine the stages and leadership styles that enhance the effectiveness of firm response and recovery efforts during each stage. Design/methodology/approach: The authors use an inductive exploratory approach and mixed-method research design. Study 1 uses a combination of qualitative data gathered through two rounds of exploratory focus groups (26 managers and executives), Q-sorting (60 participants) and a confirmatory focus group (6 experts) to highlight how expert practitioners perceive the staged progression of a supply chain disruption. Study 2 uses responses from 90 experienced managers in an experimental vignette to determine the most effective leadership style during each stage. Findings: Expert practitioners are strongly partial to a two-staged disruption model that includes an early/response and late/recovery stage. They consider decisiveness to be the most effective style in the response stage. However, in the recovery stage, a style that combines decisiveness and task-centered leadership is perceived to be the most effective. Further, effective leadership hinges on applying distinct styles depending on the progression of events during supply chain disruptions. Originality/value: Empirical evidence and validation of conceptual models on leadership behavior during crises are essentially nonexistent in the literature. This study is likely the first to pursue the subject of leadership during stages of crises and the first to offer empirical evidence thereof. Relatedly, the authors contribute to the growing research on crisis management, which is likely to receive even more attention as the frequency and size of crises facing organizations increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1615-1632
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 22 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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