Operational Crisis Management in the Automotive Industry: A Delphi Study

Operational Crisis Management in the Automotive Industry: A Delphi Study

Author: 
Brittney Crathers
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
The Great Recession of 2008-2010 had a significant impact on the U.S. automotive industry and its economic positioning. Automotive leaders faced difficulties with making quick business decisions without proper preparation. Thus, the employees and the public responded negatively to the actions taken by leadership causing employee dissatisfaction, decreased morale and productivity, and loss of consumer spending and brand loyalty for the manufacturers. There was a commonality of leadership actions taken among all the major U.S. automotive manufacturers during this recession. However, they were not prepared for a crisis of this magnitude, and operations were not handled sufficiently. This qualitative study was conducted using supportive quantitative data and a three-round modified Delphi design to determine a consensus on leadership styles and practices of a crisis management leader. The study also determined best practices in leadership for crisis management preparedness. A sample size of 17 leadership experts were used to collect and analyze the data. Data was collected using open-ended and 5-point Likert-type scale questions provided via SurveyMonkey. Data analysis was conducted using manual content analysis and theme identification to examine patterns that supported the conceptual framework. The results from the three-round Delphi study identified three emergent themes regarding effective leadership characteristics and best practices of a crisis management leader. The emergent themes were: alignment among executives and stakeholders for decision-making is critical, timely communication of information regarding the crisis from leadership to employees is important, and leaders must employ clear and effective communication skills.
Dedication: 
I would like to dedicate this research to my grandmother, Gentra Johnson-Cooper and my immediate family. Granny, you are truly everything to me. I could not imagine making it this far without your love and comfort. You are the woman I aspire to be. I love you unexplainably. I will always be “Granny’s baby!” Stella, my Mom, thank you for being the epitome of a strong and independent woman. Your style and grace has been a guidance for me on my road to womanhood and maturity. Thank you so much for supporting me in pursuit of my dreams. I will always be your “baby girl.” To my sisters, LaChandra (Reese) and Candace. Thank you for being my rocks. I can’t count how many times you two have pulled me out of my hard times and kept me focused and encouraged throughout my doctoral journey. I appreciate you two for taking care of me and making my life so much easier when I most needed it. Big sister, thank you for being my shining star! My “gf,” thank you for being my #1 cheerleader! Jay, my only brother, thank you for your love and protection. You always make me feel like I am the best person anyone should know, love, and adore.
Acknowledgements: 
First, I would like to acknowledge my best friends, Shacora, Felicia, and Anthony. Thank you for loving me beyond limits. We have so many years invested in our friendship and I am so grateful of your love, encouragement, and support throughout my journey. You three are truly part of me and who I have become. Best friends forever! Dr. Ashley Griffith, thank you for your support and encouragement as we both channeled this journey together. The late nights and early mornings paid off in the end. Your friendship is priceless. To my co-workers, Mrs. Deborah Houston, Nicole Raye, and Monique Sherri, thank you for pushing me to apply and complete the doctoral program. To my pastor, Anthony L. Williams, first lady, Bukeka Williams, and church family, thank you for your endless prayers, love, and support. Thank you to all the expert panelists for participating in my study. Without your time and expertise this research would not have been a success. To my committee members Dr. Lane and Dr. Germain, thank you for your patience and support. Your added knowledge and feedback were essential to my program completion. I appreciate you for working well with me and my chair to see this dissertation into fruition. A personal and most heartfelt thank you goes out to my chair, Dr. de Charon. You have stuck with me, encouraged me, waited patiently, yet pushed me to the point of completion. Thank you for your prompt responses and thorough feedback. Thank you keeping me on track and being understanding when life’s events sometimes got in the way of my productivity. I appreciate you for every email, every comment, every word of advice. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I couldn’t have done it without you. We did it!