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Insights from behavioural economics for effective leadership during the pandemic


The novel coronavirus and related COVID-19 pandemic have introduced unprecedented public policy and health challenges. In addition, healthcare consumers and workers face poor coordination by government and health officials, who lack consensus on critical elements that range from understanding risks and managing uncertainty to crafting responses that could help safely guide their constituents. As such, healthcare organisations increasingly look to their own leaders to successfully steer patients and workers through the crisis. Insights from behavioural economics can help healthcare leaders communicate information to their constituents as they make important and difficult decisions under situations of risk and uncertainty. Understanding how people interpret information about risk and uncertainty, and how they might respond to strategies that help them contextualise this information through defaults and social norms, can lead to better outcomes in patient health, employee safety and well-being and overall health system utilisation. Leaders who effectively leverage these insights may chart a clearer path towards desirable short-term and long-term organisational outcomes.

  • management
  • health policy
  • leadership assessment
  • public health
  • COVID-19

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