The case study ‘Jacinda Ardern – Leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic’ describes how New Zealand under the leadership of its youngest woman Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, successfully managed to contain the spread of the corona virus. The case details the political career of Ardern and highlights the various measures that were put in place to fight the pandemic. It then describes Ardern’s leadership style and how a sensible and firm decision-making approach through an early lockdown helped the country control the spread of the infection. Ardern’s empathetic and casual conversations over Facebook Live with the general public and the regular health updates she gave helped in building support for the lockdown despite the challenges New Zealanders had to face.
The case also highlights the evidence-based scientific approach taken by Ardern and the trust she imposed in the public health experts to decide on testing, containment, and treatment. The case ends with the economic and political challenges that lie ahead for Ardern and New Zealanders in terms of lack of jobs, rising debt, absence of revenues from the Tourism sector, and the national elections.
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The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:
Understand the importance of an empathetic approach to leadership.
Become aware of the importance of crisis communications.
Learn about the importance of clear and firm decisions in managing a crisis.
Understand the impact of personality traits in the leadership style
Examine the impacts of a global pandemic and environmental disasters on the macroeconomic environment of nations in a globalized economy.