Role of Strategic Leaders in Unexpected Healthcare Crisis Management

Main Article Content

Jijo Paul, Ph.D.M.Phil., E.MBA, M.S.


Objective: This study aims to explore the roles of strategic leaders in business concerns and how they maintain sustainability in business during an unexpected crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study investigated the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis on the healthcare industry, organizational performance, and various leadership strategies to overcome such a crisis.

Methods: Hospital leaders frequently face new challenges, especially in a healthcare crisis like a pandemic, which may be beyond the scope of the current leadership practices. Additional unavoidable responsibilities may arise, affecting employees' productivity, emotions, adaptability, and leadership styles in a crisis.

Result: Transformational leadership is identified as suitable for leaders in a crisis to motivate employees and introduce rapid changes to maintain sustainability. Employee engagement, motivation, innovation, creativity, and many more are critical for a business's survival in a crisis. Transformational leaders are active and utilize different tactics to formulate and implement decisions, provide motivation, promote innovation, display the significance of supporting the organization, and strengthen employee engagement.

Conclusion: Influential leaders have roles ranging from routine management activities to handling extra-work roles such as strategy formulation, technology expert, coach, mentor, entrepreneur, etc. Swift changes in leadership styles are necessary to accommodate such rapid changes brought by crises in the healthcare sector for work situations.

Keywords: Strategic leadership, healthcare, Crisis management, COVID-19 pandemic

Article Details

How to Cite
PAUL, Jijo. Role of Strategic Leaders in Unexpected Healthcare Crisis Management. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 4, apr. 2024. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 may 2024. doi:
Research Articles


1. Joneigh K. Public health leadership during a pandemic: Michigan's experience. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 2021; 27(1): S14-S18
2. Setyaningsih T, Bastian I, Arifa C. Pandemic leadership: Is it just a matter of good and bad? Public Organization Review. 2023; 23:605–621
3. Crain AM, Bush ML, Hayanga H. Healthcare leadership in the COVID-19 pandemic: From innovative preparation to evolutionary transformation. J Healthc Leadersh. 13: 2021; 199–207
4. Sanders J, Balcom C. Clinical leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic: Reflections and lessons learned. Healthcare Management. 2021; 34 (6); 316-319
5. Meadows S, Braine RD. The work identity of leaders in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Front. Psychol. 2022; 13:958679
6. Abdi Z, Lega F, Ebeid N. Role of hospital leadership in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Services Management Research. 2022; 35(1) 2–6
7. Dadich A, Lopes AM. Leadership during a pandemic: A lexical analysis. Front Public Health. 2022; 10: 783337
8. Kezar A, Fries-Britt S, Kurban E. Speaking truth and acting with integrity: Confronting challenges of campus racial climate. Washington, DC: American Council on Education. 2018.
9. Specchia ML, Cozzolino MR, Carini E. Leadership styles and nurses' job satisfaction. Results of a systematic review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021; 18(4): 1552.
10. Rosinha AP, Matias LJS., de Souza MA. Leadership in extreme conditions and under severe stress: case study analysis. Holenweger M, Jager KM, Kernic F. (eds) Leadership in extreme situations. Cham: Springer, 2018; 93–112.
11. AlMazrouei H. The effect of COVID-19 on managerial leadership style within Australian public sector organizations. Journal of General Management. 2023.
Doi: 10.1177/03063070231152976
12. Lu L, Lu ACC, Gursoy D. Work engagement, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. 2016; 28(4), 737–761.
13. Kular S, Gatenby M, Rees C. Employee engagement: A literature review. Kingston University, Kingston Business School. 2008. Retrieved from
14. Mazzei A, Kim JN, Dell'Oro C. Strategic value of employee relationships and communicative actions: Overcoming corporate crisis with quality internal communication. International Journal of Strategic Communication. 2012; 6(1), 31–44.
15. Mozammel S, Haan P. Transformational leadership and employee engagement in the banking sector in Bangladesh. The Journal of Developing Areas. 2016; 50(6), 43–55.
16. Men LR. Strategic internal communication: Transformational leadership, communication channels, and employee satisfaction. Management Communication Quarterly. 2014; 28(2),264–284.
17. Anwar K. The role of effective leadership in crisis management: Study of private companies in Kurdistan. Qalaai Zanist Scientific Journal. 2017; 2(4), 326–338.
18. Phillips G, Kendino M, Brolan CE. Lessons from the frontline: Leadership and governance experiences in the COVID-19 pandemic response across the Pacific region. The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific 2022; 25:100518
19. Popli S, Rizvi IA. Exploring the relationship between service orientation, employee engagement, and perceived leadership style: A study of managers in India's private service sector organizations. Journal of Services Marketing. 2015; 29(1), 59–70.
20. Hay I. Transformational leadership: Characteristics and criticisms. E Jour of Org Learning and Leadership. 2006; 5(2), 1–19.
21. Breevaart K, Bakker A, Hetland J. Daily transactional and transformational leadership and daily employee engagement. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. 2013; 87(1), 138–157.
22. Jyoti J, Dev M. The impact of transformational leadership on employee creativity: The role of learning orientation. Journal of Asia Business Studies. 2014; 9(1), 78–98.
23. Almohtaseb AA, Almahameed MA, Sharari F. The effect of transformation leadership on government employee job satisfaction during COVID-19. Management Science Letters, 2021; (11): 1231–1244.
24. Yücel I. Transformational leadership and turnover intentions: The mediating role of employee performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Administrative Sciences. 2021; 11(81), 1–21.
25. Higgins D, Bourne PA. Implementing change in an organization: A general overview. Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2018. Doi: 10.32474/SJPBS.2018.01.000102
26. Heifetz R, Linsky M. Change management. A survival guide for leaders. Harvard Business Review (HBR). 2002.
27. Bishop TF, Press MJ, Mendelsohn JL. Electronic communication improves access, but barriers to its widespread adoption remain. Health Aff. 2013. Doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1151
28. Saidi A, Nur FA, Al-Mandhari AS. Decisive leadership is a necessity in the COVID-19 response. Lancet. 2020.
29. Ahern S, Loh E. Leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic: Building and sustaining trust in times of uncertainty. BMJ Leader 2021; 5:266–269
30. Yukl G, Gordon A. Taber T. A hierarchical taxonomy of leadership behavior: integrating a half-century of behavior research. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies. 2002; 9(1): 15–32.
31. Day DV. Leadership development: a review in context. The Leadership Quarterly. 2000; 11(4): 581–613.
32. Yukl G. An evaluation of conceptual weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership theories. The Leadership Quarterly. 1999; 10(2): 285–305.
33. Bass BM. Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations. N.Y., USA, 1985: Free Press.
34. Ariyabuddhiphongs V. Kahn SI. Transformational leadership and turnover intention: mediating effects of trust and job performance on cafe employees in Thailand. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism. 2017;16:215–233.
35. Rafferty AE, Griffin MA. Dimensions of transformational leadership: conceptual and empirical extensions. The Leadership Quarterly 2004;15:329–354.
36. Geerts JM, Kinnair D, Taheri P. Guidance for health care leaders during the recovery stage of the COVID-19 pandemic: A Consensus Statement. JAMA Netw Open. 2021; 4(7):e2120295
37. Santoso NR, Sulistyaningtyas ID, Pratama BP. Transformational leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic: Strengthening employee engagement through internal communication. Journal of Communication Inquiry. 2022; Doi: 10.1177/01968599221095182
38. Légaré F, Plourde KV, Charif AB, et al. Evidence on scaling in health and social care: protocol for a living umbrella review. Syst Rev. 2021;10:261.
39. Kane RL, Egan JM, Chung KC. Leadership in times of crisis. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2021; 148(4): 899–906.
40. Eichenauer CJ, Ryan AM, Alanis JM. Leadership during crisis: An examination of supervisory leadership behavior and gender during COVID-19. J Leadersh Organ Stud. 2022; 29(2): 190–207.