‘Adaptive leadership’ leads to successful COVID-19 response in Alaska’s capital


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By far, Juneau, Alaska has the highest vaccination rate, has among the lowest coronavirus cases and has the fewest deaths among other Alaska counties. Now, a team that has studied Juneau’s early response to the pandemic has identified several factors that helped the Alaskan capital mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on residents.

In a new study, the team has found that the creation of an administrative system by local legislators that facilitate the making of evidence-based decisions and their implementation stands out as a particularly successful example of adaptive leadership in a complex system. In addition, regular communications by the mayor and city manager ensure that citizens support the leader’s actions.

Finally, emerging new partnership structures with community stakeholders, particularly the local Alaska Native community, have brought additional resources to this effort, while rights Local ownership of important assets—airports, hospitals, convention centers, docks, and harbors—makes it easier for cities and counties. Officers act quickly and efficiently.

Three questions with Robert Orttung from GW Media Relations on Vimeo. Credit: State and Local Government Review

Article, “Juneau, Alaska’s Successful Response to COVID-19: An Adaptability Case Study Leadership in a complex system,” was published in State and Local Government Reviews. The study authors include faculty members from George Washington University, Southeast Alaska University, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Northern Arizona University.

More information:
James E. Powell et al., Juneau, Alaska’s Successful Response to COVID-19: A Case Study of Adaptive Leadership in a Complex System, State and Local Government Reviews (2022). DOI: 10.1177/0160323X221136504

quote: ‘Adaptive Leadership’ Leads to Successful COVID-19 Response in Alaska Capitals (2022, 28 Dec) accessed Dec 28, 2022 from -leadership-successful-covid-response-alaskan. html

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