Courage Imported to Detroit Through Resilient Leadership Practices: A Fiat Chrysler Automobile Case Study

Location: Jepson 122
Date: Sat, April 27
Time: 1:45 PM - 2:05 PM

This case study applies Maddi's theory of organizational resilience to Fiat's high-risk acquisition of Chrysler between 2009 and 2018. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brought resilience to Chrysler, recovered from the Great Recession, and has rebranded itself while stabilizing global market share. The new company identified niche markets and refocused on people and quality to establish the foundations for future growth. The study describes specific resilient leadership practices and actions that operationalize the psychological mindset of Commitment, Control, and Challenge¬Ě, coined in Maddi's Hardiness Model. Lessons-learned from resilient leadership practices adopted by FCA have significant relevance for other organizations facing adversity.


The purpose of this project was to examine a specific case through the hardiness model developed by Maddi to identify discrete and specific leadership practices that enable daring and effective leadership in the face of daunting organizational challenges. The team (Andy Notbohm and Sarah Karis) will be present the results of a case study completed for ORGL 689 (Leadership and Hardiness). The presentation will highlight the daring leadership practices (through the hardiness less) that recovered Chrysler from the brink of failure in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis (the Great Recession). The team will provide a brief background of the case, relate the hardiness model to courageous and daring leadership, and discuss how the specific lessons-learned from the case are relevant to other organizations. This case study applies Maddi's theory of organizational resilience to Fiat's high-risk acquisition of Chrysler between 2009 and 2018. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brought resilience to Chrysler, recovered from the Great Recession, and has rebranded itself while stabilizing global market share. The new company identified niche markets and refocused on people and quality to establish the foundations for future growth. The study describes specific resilient leadership practices and actions that operationalize the psychological mindset of Commitment, Control, and Challenge, coined in Maddi's Hardiness Model. Lessons-learned from resilient leadership practices adopted by FCA have significant relevance for other organizations facing adversity.

Paper