Organizational response to adversity: Fusing crisis management and resilience research streams

Trenton A. Williams, Daniel A. Gruber, Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, Dean A. Shepherd, Eric Yanfei Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Scopus citations


Research on crisis management and resilience has sought to explain how individuals and organizations anticipate and respond to adversity, yet—surprisingly—there has been little integration across these two literatures. In this paper, we review the literatures on crisis management and resilience and discuss opportunities to both integrate and advance these streams of research. We identify unique lines of work on crisis and crisis management: crisis-as-an-event and crisis-as-process. We review complementary streams of research in the resilience literature and explore their implications for studies of crisis. Building on these reviews, we develop an integrative framework that is focused around key themes of both crisis and resilience, including capabilities for durability, organizing and adjusting, responding to major disturbances, and a feedback loop from these experiences. Following this, we offer a research agenda that centers on understanding and explaining the interaction between crisis and resilience as they occur in a dynamic process. We then discuss research opportunities that explore the dynamic relationship of resilience and crisis as it relates to leadership, time, complexity, and mindfulness. Finally, we note how researchers can consider the dark side of resilience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-769
Number of pages37
JournalAcademy of Management Annals
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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