Crises occur due to poor preparedness and control mechanisms. The drama of blaming and accountability begins whenever a crisis occurs. Somebody will have to receive the blame for allowing a disaster or crisis to happen. The public will blame another person(s) for failing to manage the crisis. Such individuals will blame their partners for the crisis. Many leaders and governments are the leading targets for these blame games.
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This analysis presents the concept of blame. Leaders must also negotiate the existing disagreement after a disaster. They should do so by restoring the faith of every stakeholder. Leaders must support the existing political and institutional structures.
This situation forces leaders to navigate a responsibility-accepting position that will promote policy-oriented learning. Some leaders will navigate a responsibility-denying stance in order to deflect the blame1. The concept of blame and responsibility explains how leaders negotiate and address different crises.
Some factors will definitely influence the way human beings allocate blame. The first factor is the extent to which individuals attribute blame for mismanagement or malpractice. The leadership styles embraced by those in power will determine how the public allocates the blame2.
The manner in which such leaders respond to problems also influence the way people allocate the blame. The continued use of ineffective management strategies will also increase the level of blame.
Leaders should use appropriate strategies in order to overcome every attribution error. The first strategy is forging the most appropriate pathway. Managers can cooperate with the public depending on the nature of the blame. Politicians can also acknowledge responsibility in order to get the public’s approval. Individuals can also resign in order to secure the confidence of the people.
Public reactions should also be credible, acceptable, and adequate3. Policymakers can use new investigations in order to understand the targeted issue much better. A stronger justification of the crisis will overcome different attribution errors. The leadership strategy of a person will determine the success of every crisis management practice.
Boin, Arjen, and Paul’t Hart. “Public Leadership in Times of Crisis: Mission Impossible.” Public Administration Review 63, no, 5 (2003): 544-553.
Boin, Arjen, Paul’t Hart, Allan McConnel, and Thomas Preston. “Leadership Style, Crisis Response and Blame Management: The Case of Hurricane Katrina.” Public Administration 88, no. 3 (2010): 706-723.
Hart, Paul’t, Liesbet Heyse, and Arjen Boin. “Guest Editorial Introduction New Trends in Crisis Management Practice and Crisis Management Research: Setting the Agenda.” Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 9, no. 4 (2001): 181-188.
1 Arjen Boin and Paul’t Hart, “Public Leadership in Times of Crisis: Mission Impossible,” Public Administration Review 63, no, 5 (2003): 545.
2 Paul’t Hart, Liesbet Heyse, and Arjen Boin, “Guest Editorial Introduction New Trends in Crisis Management Practice and Crisis Management Research: Setting the Agenda,” Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 9, no. 4 (2001): 184.
3 Arjen Boin et al., “Leadership Style, Crisis Response and Blame Management: The Case of Hurricane Katrina,” Public Administration 88, no. 3 (2010): 706-723.