Home Overview Data Collection Ext Resources About Us
Data Collection
Ext Resources
About Us
 If you have any feedback on how we can make this website better please do contact us by email:
The research framework is based on the following four key concepts:
  • Organisational Trust
  • Management Control Systems
  • Crisis Management
  • Psychometrics
Organisational Trust
Organisational Trust (OT), which has been a research field for decades, is the key construct in the research. Trust research largely focuses upon essentially stable trust relationships and business environments. Only few researchers have carried out trust research in a specific crisis context or have investigated organisational responses to crisis. Arguably, the level of trust in an organisation correlates strongly with adaptive managerial behaviours and can influence significantly the economic performance of the organisation. Trust established through managerial interactions in stable organisational situations can be contrasted with “fast trust” and trust behaviour needed in crises may differ from stable situations because in crisis situations both pre-existing and dynamically-constituted trust can feature.

The definition of trust for the purpose of the research was as follows:

Trust is one party's willingness to be vulnerable to another party based on the belief that the latter party is competent, open, concerned and reliable. After Mishra, 1996

This definition features the notions of vulnerability and expectations (or beliefs) and four distinct dimensions (competence, openness, concern, and reliability) which appears generally accepted by trust researchers of the last several decades. 
Management Control Systems
Current literature on management control systems (MCS) differentiates between tools and techniques, used in business economics and managerial accounting, and the behavioural aspects. Arguably, within an existing system of management controls, some aspects are relatively stable, whereas others are more prone to change in different organisational circumstances. For example, the knowledge and skills that individuals acquire and with which they apply their suite of tools and techniques, are quite stable. The aspects which are hypothesized to be more likely to change when circumstances change are the behaviours of individual managers. Skills we have may or may not equip us to appropriately deal with changing circumstances. Managers may have to deal with non-routine transactions; operate under pressure; and make decisions quickly and often with little information. Those in the higher echelons of an organisation also have to communicate difficult news and controversial decisions; interact frequently—and often differently—with peers and staff; manage to keep staff member motivated; and secure their continued loyalty and support for the benefit of the organisation as a whole.
Crisis Management 

A crisis is a unique situation where the full array of management skills and behaviours, as well as the level of existing trust, are put to the test.
Crisis Management (CM) is conceptualised as a core management competency which has to be applied before, during and after an actual crisis situation. Arguably, the term crisis may be interpreted differently by different persons, depending on the context and the power of the individual to deal with the situation and the resources available. For the purpose of the research, the definition for a crisis was as follows:

A crisis is a major threat to system survival with little time to respond, involving an ill-structured situation where resources are inadequate to cope with the situation. After Mishra, 1996

Consequently, the assessment of resource adequacy defines the presence or absence of crisis. If available resources are adequate to cope, an organisation or individual may have a problem, but not a crisis. Researche has comprehensively investigated crisis management over the last few decades, albeit with a focus on contingency planning and reactions after the strike of a disaster. Some researchers have examined organizational responses to crisis in the context of organisational downsizing decisions. Current crisis research addresses pertinent questions that go beyond the traditional approach of contingency planning and fire-fighting, for example, the phenomenon that some companies emerge stronger and better from a crisis; crisis communication and the role of public relations is also gaining attention.
As outlined above, it is likely that managerial behaviours are more likely to change in crisis situations, compared to the technical skills and the ability to apply the battery of tools and techniques. Among those behaviours that are most likely to change are decision-making (from decentralised to centralised), communication (from undistorted and open to distorted and limited) and collaboration (from good and frequent to poor and little). It is further hypothesized that the level of trust prevalent in an organisation affects those behaviours and, thereby, impacts the economic variables of organisational resource allocations, that is, speed and cost.
Psychometrics: The Concept of Measurement in Psychology

Psychometric theory and the challenges of measurement have been described extensively inthe classic literature. Psychometrics refers mainly to the methods of psychological testing and the substantive findings. In science, arguably, without measurement, conclusions about causality, extent and direction of causal effects are difficult to reach. Measurement takes place in experimental or non-experimental settings, depending on the degree of control the researcher wishes to exercise over the variables of interest. Whilst in the natural sciences units/criteria of measurement are relatively established, they are not always available in the social sciences. Specifically in psychology where causes of certain phenomena are not always easy to determine and the effects not always clearly attributable to one (and only one) cause, measurement is inherently difficult.


The problem of measurement in the social sciences can be approached in different ways. The approaches range from using existing and rather generic instruments to the development of new and very specific scales - with good psychometric properties: high reliability, high validity, and good discriminatory powers. The typical scale development process consists of the following steps: definition of the construct; generation of an item pool; design of the scale including the format for measurement; inclusion of validation items; pilot test; administration of items to a development sample; analysis of items; optimization of scale length; and validation and norm study.

Site Map