Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Reframing Leadership: Jacinda Ardern’s Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Abstract:  Women’s underrepresentation in political leadership has been a constant global challenge during recent decades. Although women’s leadership and its impact on organizational and country performance have been systematically explored, new research avenues are opened through the emergence of various crises. Crises constitute instances in which the intersection of leadership and communication is shaped and enforced, and how female leaders tackled and managed crises has been found to be different from that of their male counterparts in various instances. This study aims to examine the crisis communication approach taken by Jacinda Ardern during the 2020 global public health crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Female leaders were found to enforce a more effective and persuasive communication approach during the crisis, but Jacinda Ardern’s crisis management approach has been grounded in a feminist ethics of care since her response to the Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019. This article aims to emphasize the importance of communication in reframing leadership, by analyzing Jacinda Ardern’s Facebook communication from the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. By examining how her messaging is embedded in values and attitudes specific to the ethics of care, we contribute to theorizing ways in which crisis communication is grounded in feminist ethics.

Keywords:  crisis communication; ethics of care; female leaders; Jacinda Ardern; leadership


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© Andreea Voina, Mihnea S. Stoica. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.