What is it about?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been praised in the media for her decisive and caring approach to managing New Zealand's response to the coronavirus pandemic. She combined clear leadership messages of action in her public role and down-to-earth messages of shared experience in her personal role. Ardern used positive and consistent messages both in formal settings and informal social-media settings to inspire confidence and social solidarity among New Zealanders through the global health crisis.

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Why is it important?

Both business and community leaders can learn from Ardern’s way of communicating to the nation through the first months of the Covid-19 crisis.


I like this paper because it showcases three really interesting phenomena: care ethics in leadership, a popular and effective female leader, and the power of good communication regardless of the medium. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has shown the world how care, empathy, and a fundamentally ethical way of being a leader can be effective in crisis situations. Her leadership communication offers one example how the ethic of care and servant leadership do have a place in both public leadership and organisational leadership. I also loved working on this paper as it was a new collaboration with a great team of colleagues throughout Scotland.

Dr Kae Reynolds
University of the West of Scotland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Beating the virus: an examination of the crisis communication approach taken by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Resource Development International, June 2020, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/13678868.2020.1779543.
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