Constant Communication for Community Engagement Through Responsible Leadership to Manage the Pandemic

Constant Communication for Community Engagement Through Responsible Leadership to Manage the Pandemic

Mita Mehta, Arti Chandani
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3374-4.ch003
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The aim of this research was to study how community engagement using constant communication can be utilized to manage pandemic though responsible leadership. This study focuses on India's experience of community engagement and responsible leadership demonstrated by national leaders, especially Prime Minister (PM) Mr. Narendra Modi using his constant communication as one of the strategies. Data of Indian citizens through various online communities has been analyzed through qualitative analysis called netnography, which is an extension of ethnography. Based on this methodology, thematic analysis has been carried out. Constant communication as one of the themes helps responsible leaders in managing pandemic-level crises. This research also develops conceptual model as a research outcome to be more specific in terms of communication among communities through a leader. Nations struggling to manage pandemic can get more social and economic relief if such crises could have been managed through responsible leadership through his constant communication.
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Novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), severe lung syndrome prompted by the virus SARS-CoV-2, started in Wuhan, China, and now it is mainly spread in the entire world (Maxwell et al., 2020). World Health Organization (WHO), on March 11, 2020, declared this as Pandemic (Source WHO). This virus is exploiting humanity. Human beings are social creatures, but this virus dangers turning instincts into a deadly weakness. It is also observed that more than 218 countries have been affected by this virus. (Source: Worldometer). Any disasters, epidemics, and pandemics are enormous and come with significant levels of disturbance across all levels for any nation (Monica et al., 2007). Such events require many efforts from the side of the people and not only from the people serving at official posts (Schoch-Spana et al., 2007). Minimal studies have been done in connecting responsible Leadership and community engagement to manage the crisis at the national level using communication as the critical factor.

Community participation can be perceived as a social process (Newport & Jawahar, 2003), where vulnerable groups collaborate for everyday needs and requirements. Their studies have also mentioned that to make it successful, such a community also needs related institutions like NGOs, private organizations, and sometimes the Government. This can be termed a supportive construct for community engagement (Yodmani, 2001, Paton & Johnston, 2001). Government involving citizens for disaster curbing is not a new term. Volunteering of citizens as emergency personnel retorts due to lack of personnel has been recognized since World War II (Chen et al., 2006). At a broader level, the main objective of community-based disaster management is to prepare high-risk communities in disaster to the most disaster resilient community through transformation (Victoria, 2003).

The leader plays an essential role in managing pandemics (Kaul et al., 2020). The leadership concept has been addressed widely in different phenomenon across the literature (Alvesson, 2016). Many leadership studies, including servant Leadership to e-leadership, have been studied (Avolio et al., 2009). Leadership is a dynamic process where people included in this process are mutually dependent on one another for attaining a common goal (McCusker et al., 2018). There have been different experiences each country has gone through ever since this Pandemic was announced. People would focus more on their leaders while hoping for pandemic management in such a difficult time. The role of a leader in difficult times gets more tested (Wilson, 2020). At the same time, some have been working great in managing it while others are still struggling to manage it (Dirani et al., 2020). Be it an organization or a country, the Pandemic has made complex challenges for the leaders to act and put plans into action. Many countries are struggling to get sustainable options to survive economically and socially viable. Emphasis on responsible Leadership has been grown recently, seeing the actions taken by most of the leaders across different organizations and countries (Pless & Maak, 2011). Past research shows that responsible Leadership has an inclusive approach towards the community at large perceived well. A leader who takes responsibility for his actions and reflects the same (Waldman & Galvin, 2008) makes more sense in the responsible leadership concept.

So far, India has managed this Pandemic well (Trivedi, 2020), considering its challenges in terms of population to diverse demographical issues. India, the second most highly populated country globally, having its challenges being a developing country, had managed well through its solid and decisive Leadership and strong community engagement (Mehta et al., 2020).

Through this research, the authors aim to present how the community can be engaged through responsible Leadership via communication as one of the key strategies to manage the Pandemic. The authors have given a literature review in the first part of this chapter, and subsequently, this research shows empirical evidence of the study through quality research analysis. The authors have used netnography, which is an extension of ethnography. Seeing the present scenario of social distancing, the authors could gather maximum data from social media and various e- platforms for conducting this research.

Later, the authors have discussed how community engagement, communication, and responsible Leadership plays a significant role in managing a crisis like a pandemic.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Responsible Leadership: A responsible leader thinks for all stakeholders while taking decision. It includes actions of Leadership more responsible and accountable.

Netnography: It is an online research method which has origin in ethnography.

Community: Group of people who stays at the same place/country and sharing some common goals among them.

Pandemic: It is a global epidemic which spreads in more than one continent.

Communication for Community: Information and communication to general people, especially during crisis.

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