A pandemic of uncertainty: Leading together when we can’t see the future alone

Vachel Miller, Appalachian State University, U.S.A.
Published online: 30 October 2020, JCETR, 4(2), pp. 46-49.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4261955

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Purpose: In this research note, I reflect on the role of certainty in educational planning, amid the challenges to certainty posed by the COVID pandemic.  This reflection is autoethnographic, based on theoretical literature from the field of organizational leadership, as well as my own teaching observations.   

Methods: Over the past several months, the COVID pandemic has undermined and frustrated efforts to plan the future.  In this paper a litterature review research was adopted.

Results: The possibility opened by the pandemic is that organizational leadership can become more relational, fluid, and responsive; rather than relying on assumptions of certainty. To further enrich this argument, follow-up studies could explore specific examples and cases in which organizations have adjusted their assumptions regarding certainty, planning, and leadership.

Implications: Insight identified in this article has lasting implications for how educational institutions approach planning and how organizations can cultivate leadership to be more resilient and nimble.


Pandemic, organizational leadership, uncertainty

JEL Classification:

I23, I29