Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Denise Land

Abstract

Crisis preparedness is the responsibility of every person, business, and leader, and leadership behavioral skills are an essential characteristic of crisis preparedness. The purpose of this case study was to explore the decisions of elected leaders along the Gulf Coast during Hurricanes Katrina and Ike in order to understand their leadership behaviors in crisis preparedness. The conceptual framework was based on the emergency management theory presented by McEntire in 2004, which helped to define the necessary components for leaders' successful crisis preparedness. Data were collected through interviews with 5 members from the National Emergency Management Agency along with a document review of elected leader responses and decisions during both Hurricanes Katrina and Ike from government reports, previous studies, and scholarly articles. Data were interpretively analyzed by listing out several leadership models and the behaviors that identify them and then by reviewing the document study information in 2 matrices for methodological triangulation and data saturation. The findings highlighted 5 emerging themes named as the five Cs of crisis preparedness: compassion, continuity, communication, common sense, and confidence. This study may contribute to social change by identifying key leadership traits that governors and other elected leaders should use in crisis preparedness, which may contribute to the safety, health, and well-being of constituents during a natural disaster.