'Lockdown probation leaders' and fundamental human needs

Martine Herzog-Evans*, John Sturgeon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 disrupted lives across
the globe and nations were suddenly forced to adapt in conditions that
were unprecedented, uncertain, and life-threatening. Nations responded
by closing borders and ordering their citizens to work from home, forcing
organisations and those working in them to find new ways of carrying
out their core functions in conditions of disorientation, isolation,
competing demands, and in some cases, fear. The extent to which
organisations were able to negotiate the crisis would depend on how
their managers responded to their staff. This study draws on an analysis
of semi-structured interviews with 26 Scottish Criminal Justice Social
Workers and managers which took place during the national lockdown of
March – June 2020. Drawing on theories of leadership and self-
determination theory, the findings reveal that good managers at such a
time of crisis are servant leaders who prioritise the fundamental human needs of their staff and reduce their level of uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-168
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Probation
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


  • probation
  • leadership
  • management
  • self-determination theory
  • Covid-19
  • transformational leadership


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