Business bosses, it seems, are as much in the dark as the investors who buy stocks in their companies.

That is the worrying conclusion of a new survey from Booz & Co. 

After quizzing more than 800 senior managers, it found 40 percent doubted that their company’s leadership had a credible plan to address the economic crisis and an even higher number – 46 percent – were not sure that their top management could carry out the plan, credible or not.

Alarmingly, even at the CEO and board level, one third of those responding were sceptical of their own plans.

“It appears that the speed with which the crisis hit and the subsequent volatility has left many senior leaders uncertain of how to move forward and whether they should be in survival or opportunity mode,” says Booz partner Jake Leslie Melville.

But despite not being sure what to do, senior managers are clinging on hopefully. More than half of those questioned thought the crisis would ultimately have a positive impact on the competitive position of their companies.