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How would you remain flexible in a fluid and continually changing situation such as an active threat/shooter?


Milestone 1 Questions

  1. Given the circumstances of the event, how would you apply the situational approach to address the active threat’s location, identify how the active threat may be posing a threat to others, and identify if there are other active threats within the building?

The situational approach provides no single effective method when faced with an emergency. This means that leaders and their subordinates should adapt their problem-solving skills to address the problem at hand (Kotora et al., 2014). In this case, I would utilize an appropriate response model to locate the threat within the shortest time possible, including the use of surveillance cameras and other electronic and mobile devices. For instance, I would communicate with specific employees on every facility floor to establish and track the active shooter’s movement. From their feedback, I would determine additional targets of the active shooter besides visitors and bedridden patients. With this information, I would direct employees affected and unaffected areas to alert others and enter the lockdown mode or evacuate, depending on their assessment of the situation. In other others, I would provide the much-needed situational information to establish the threat’s location and recommend a secure action plan.

How would you remain flexible in a fluid and continually changing situation such as an active threat/shooter?

I would embrace high-level flexibility in this situation by communicating with all the responsible stakeholders in real-time, using clear, plaint, and natural language, not through codes. Given armed intruder situations remain considerably unpredictable and tend to evolve quickly, I would also recommend effective survival decisions, such as performing enhanced lockdown, which helps with isolating the violent intruder, making public address announcements to inform the public and visitors, making 911 calls, and preparing to counter if the situation allows. In essence, by being flexible, I would coordinate four principal active shooting related activities: information sharing, locating the active shooter, and implementing survival strategies.

Milestone 2 Questions

Given the event’s circumstances, how could you utilize path-goal theory to increase the efficiency toward mitigating the event?

According to the path-goal theory, a leader should master the art of aligning their leadership behavior with the demands and nature of a given situation (Ankam et al., 2014).  In this case, I would apply participative leader behavior to mitigate the hospital’s active shooter incident. The participative action would involve engaging employees, active patients, and visitors within the facility to assess their surroundings and act based on the hospital’s current emergency operations plan (EOP) or be innovative in the situation. These actions include seeking cover, barricading themselves and patients inside locked rooms, and notifying the organization’s internal security officers.  

How could leadership get team members (subordinates), SWAT, and other law enforcement agencies involved by using path-goal theory to mitigate the threat at this point?

The path-goal approach suggests the need for teamwork to achieve desired goals. Each player would adopt a wide range of ways to participate in the situation and address the problem (Famakin & Abisuga, 2016)).  In particular, subordinates, including safety officers, would inform internal security personnel about the incident and ensure the most vulnerable safety through evacuation and locking rooms. The facility’s staff, especially internal security members, would make 911 calls, communicating the issue to SWAT and local police, a team with the capacity and skills to neutralize the threat with reduced harm to innocent people. Moreover, the security and safety teams would play a central role in coordinating the operation because they are familiar with the hospital’s floor plan and other security features.

Milestone 3 Questions

After reading about the milestones that have occurred thus far, how would you integrate leader-member exchange theory to establish and maintain effective working relationships with team members?

According to the LMX theory, all manager-subordinates relationships typically have three phases: role-taking, role-making, and routinization (Mansueti et al., 2016). From the milestones, I have noted that nursing personnel is most likely to play a critical role in ensuring others’ safety in an active shooter scenario. I also learned that information flow was systematic because the law enforcement team arrived later after ten people have been shot dead. While there seems to be effective coordination, I would incorporate the LMX theory into developing and maintaining strong teams. I would achieve this by assessing each subordinate staff’s role and using their achievements during the event to include them in my in-group. Through rule-making, I would present both the in-group and out-group members with the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge, and other problem-solving abilities. By doing so, I would have earned their trust, loyalty, respect, and enhanced their persistence or resilience, empathy, and patience.

How would you use the leader-member exchange theory to address communication between hospital representatives and the media?

The LMX theory would allow me to emphasize the group dynamic instead of individual qualities (Mansueti et al., 2016). In other words, I would engage the media and personal hospital representatives based on their role and motivation toward ensuring the security and safety of every member of society: patients, visitors, law enforcers, journalists, and nurses. In this way, I would focus on establishing effective communication channels to enhance daily hospital operations, conception, and implementation of EOP, and in times of crises, such as active shooter situations. I would view every media and hospital representatives as partners with unique roles in emergency prevention, response, and recovery, especially by sharing the right and timely situational information.


Ankam, C., Kirby, A., Sharevski, F., Dietz, J. (2014). Mitigating active shooter impact: Analysis for policy options based on agent/computer modeling. Journal of Emergency Management, 13(3).

Famakin, I. & Abisuga, O. (2016). Effect of path-goal leadership styles on the commitment of employees on construction projects. International Journal of Construction Management, 16(1), 1-10.

Kotora, J., Clancy, T., Manzon, L., & Malik, V. (2014). Active shooter in the emergency department: A scenario-based training approach for healthcare workers. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, 9(1), 39-51. Mansueti, N., Grandi, M., & Grazio, A. (2016). The leader member exchange (LMX) in organizational health context. Observational study at Department of Rehabilitation. International Journal of Medicine and Pharmacy, 4(1), 1-38.

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