Managerial and Organizational Challenges
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 4: Not Business as Usual: The Psychological Impact of Terrorism and Mass Casualty on Business and Organizational Behavior
Kristen H. Walter, Brian J. Hall and Stevan E. Hobfoll INTRODUCTION Terrorism and mass casualty have forced businesses and organizations to react to threat and horror that is well beyond the normal range of business activity. Although organizations are collections of individuals, we must understand both individual and group dynamics if we are to understand the special dynamics of organizations exposed to mass casualty. This is the aim of our chapter, where we shall go beyond the mental health impact of terrorism and mass casualty circumstances to the impact on organizational functioning. We apply Conservation of Resources theory (Hobfoll, 1988, 1989, 1998), one of the principal theoretical backdrops for the understanding of stress from burnout to traumatic stress, to organizations and organizational behavior following mass casualty. CONSERVATION OF RESOURCES (COR) THEORY PRINCIPLES To understand the inﬂuence of mass casualty on organizations, we ﬁrst review the principles of COR theory. COR theory is perhaps the most widely used theory today for an understanding of mass casualty trauma. It is a motivational stress theory based on the tenet that individuals and groups strive to obtain, retain, and protect the things they most value. These valued items or concepts are termed ‘resources’. COR theory predicts that stress will result following the actual loss of resources, threat of loss of resources, or failure to gain resources following considerable 81 82 Impact of terrorism resource investment. COR theory diﬀers from appraisal-based stress theories (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984) in that resources are seen as...
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