Government Leadership During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic

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This study looks to express the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on elected county commissioners’ leadership and decision-making. The researcher conducted a qualitative study to answer two research questions. In order to answer the two research questions, the researcher used quantitative methods to identify the counties that outperformed all other counties in the United States; the researcher found there are six counties that performed better based on the variables used. From these six counties, the researcher found that there are 81 people serving those counties in the capacity of an elected county commissioner. The first research question looked to find what leadership styles the elected leaders of those counties used to minimize the deaths from COVID-19; the researcher found that elected officials in counties that outperformed all others used the principles of servant leadership, authentic leadership, or a combination of both. The second research question attempted to identify what changes county leaders made to their decision-making during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic; the researcher found a systematic approach to decision-making that had five major themes: information, awareness, previous experience, human impact, and communication.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosophy
Business Administration, Leadership