Managing Pandemics—Demands, Resources, and Effective Behaviors Within Crisis Management Teams

Pandemics, such as the COVID‐19 crisis, are very complex emergencies that can neither be handled by individuals nor by any single municipality, organization or even country alone. Such situations require multidisciplinary crisis management teams (CMTs) at different administrative levels. However, mo...

Authors: Thielsch, Meinald
Röseler, Stefan
Kirsch, Julia
Lamers, Christoph
Hertel, Guido
Division/Institute:FB 07: Psychologie und Sportwissenschaft
Document types:Article
Media types:Text
Publication date:2021
Date of publication on miami:13.04.2021
Modification date:14.04.2021
Edition statement:[Electronic ed.]
Source:Applied Psychology: An International Review 70 (2021) 1, 150-187
Subjects:Forschungsprojekt FIRE
DDC Subject:150: Psychologie
License:CC BY-NC 4.0
Language:English
Notes:Quantitative data as well as interview guideline and online questionnaire are available at http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4288512
Funding:This research is part of the project “FIRE: Feedback Instruments for Rescue Force Education ‐ Leadership and Teamwork in High Risk Environments”, funded by the State of North Rhine‐Westphalia, Germany.
Format:PDF document
URN:urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-97099564033
Other Identifiers:DOI: 10.1111/apps.12303
Permalink:https://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-97099564033
Related records:
Digital documents:10.1111_apps.12303.pdf

Pandemics, such as the COVID‐19 crisis, are very complex emergencies that can neither be handled by individuals nor by any single municipality, organization or even country alone. Such situations require multidisciplinary crisis management teams (CMTs) at different administrative levels. However, most existing CMTs are trained for rather local and temporary emergencies but not for international and long‐lasting crises. Moreover, CMT members in a pandemic face additional demands due to unknown characteristics of the disease and a highly volatile environment. To support and ensure the effectiveness of CMTs, we need to understand how CMT members can successfully cope with these multiple demands. Connecting teamwork research with the job demands and resources approach as starting framework, we conducted structured interviews and critical incident analyses with 144 members of various CMTs during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Content analyses revealed both perceived demands as well as perceived resources in CMTs. Moreover, structuring work processes, open, precise and regular communication, and anticipatory, goal‐oriented and fast problem solving were described as particularly effective behaviors in CMTs. We illustrate our findings in an integrated model and derive practical recommendations for the work and future training of CMTs.