Original Research

An organisational coherence model to maintain employee contributions during organisational crises

Hendrik J. Pelser, Anita Bosch, Willem Schurink
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 14, No 1 | a725 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v14i1.725 | © 2016 Hendrik J. Pelser, Anita Bosch, Willem Schurink | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 June 2015 | Published: 01 June 2016

About the author(s)

Hendrik J. Pelser, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Anita Bosch, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Willem Schurink, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Crises that threaten an organisation’s continued existence cannot be seen in isolation when considering the perception of threats to individual job security. These threats often go hand in hand with employee panic.

Research purpose: The aim of this study was to establish a model to assist organisations in managing employee emotionality and panic during times of crisis.

Motivation for the study: Environmental crises threaten organisations’ existence, threatening employees’ livelihood and resulting in employee panic. Panic reduces employees’ contributions. Organisations that are successful harness employee contributions at all times.

Research design, approach, and method: A modernist qualitative research methodology was adopted, which included a case study as research strategy, purposive sampling to select 12 research participants, semi-structured interviews for data gathering, focus groups for data verification, and the use of grounded theory for data analysis.

Main findings: An organisation’s ability to manage employee panic depends on the relationship between the foundational elements of authentic leadership, crisis readiness, resilience practices, versatile and committed talent, strategic management, quality management, and coherence actions taken during the crisis, which include crisis leadership, ongoing visible communication, mindfulness, work flexibility, and decisions based on the greatest financial need and social support.

Practical/managerial implications: The study provides a best-practice option for managing emotionality during crises for the case organisation and other organisations within the vehicle components and other manufacturing industries.

Contribution/value-add: The Coherence Hexagons Model is presented as a tool to manage employee panic during crisis.

Keywords: crisis management; employee emotionality; employee panic; authentic leadership; talent management


Keywords

crisis management; employee emotionality; employee panic; authentic leadership; talent management

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