From routine to uncertainty: Leading adaptable teams within integrated operations
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScandinavian Psychologist. 2016, (3), 29-?. 10.15714/scandpsychol.3.e20
This paper investigates how leadership behaviors affect offshore and onshore teams’ ability to adapt from their normal routine to crisis operations in the oil and gas industry. The industry has invested substantial resources into risk and crisis management, emphasizing evidence-based procedures, drills, and centralized leadership. Through a multi-method case study, we find that the utilized leadership practices hamper efficient intra- and intergroup cooperation during normal routine operations. In addition, and more alarming, the shift to authoritarian “control and command” leadership during crisis settings, which emphasizes rapid decisions and effectivity, hinders teams’ ability to adapt to and handle unforeseen and chaotic situations. To change this situation, we argue that the oil and gas industry should look into modern maneuver warfare to innovate organizational practices. Maneuver warfare has abandoned command and control strategies and instead focuses on contextual leadership and autonomous teamwork.