Until spring 2020, crisis management was considered to be rather a marginal area of corporate leadership. With the crisis year 2020, certainly all companies have realized that leading through crises is a necessary basic competence for all managers and especially for corporate leaders. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that an existential crisis can affect any company – without being to blame itself and regardless of its business model. Therefore, it is of high entrepreneurial and economic, but also social and human importance to identify critical success factors for crisis management in companies and to develop or further develop recommended actions. The Corona crisis thus also offers a great opportunity for gaining relevant knowledge.
This research report identifies those success factors for leadership in crisis that are more closely associated with the supposedly “soft” aspects of leadership such as attitude, empathy or openness. The findings are based on interviews with top managers from a wide range of industries and company sizes.