Library Dissertation Showcase

‘Wicked’ decisions during the Covid-19 pandemic: a policy review of UK disaster management measures

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

This study aimed to investigate a potential link between wicked leadership styles and policy coherence and implementation success within the context of Covid – 19 policies. The literature review explored the concepts of hierarchism and egalitarianism within leadership, and the positives and negatives of adopting these leadership approaches when the solution to a problem is unclear. The second section of the literature review explored three frameworks for policy review: the Narrative Policy Framework, the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework and Van Meter and Van Horn’s model for policy analysis. It was determined that the Narrative Policy Framework was the most appropriate for this study as it is flexible so can be adapted to suit the problem being reviewed. Elements from the other frameworks were fused with the Narrative framework to tailor it to Covid-19 policy. Three Covid -19 policies were analysed for the study: the Furlough scheme, Covid- 19 infection prevention and control, and the Spring 2021 roadmap. Each underwent a content analysis to find key themes determined through the narrative aspect of the framework. Interviews of three participants, who are senior managers within emergency management, were also undertaken. These interviews also underwent content analysis to search for the same key themes identified for each policy narrative. Excerpts from the interviews were interspersed within the policy analysis to strengthen the findings. The outcome of the policy review was that a weak link did appear to exist between wicked leadership and policy implementation, as the more direct and ‘bureaucratic’ the leadership style, and the easier the policy implementation process. Coherence was found to be aided by Egalitarian values
such as collaboration with experts.

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