Lynn Perry Wooten, Erika H. James and Kelle Parsons
Erika H. James, Bret Crane and Lynn Perry Wooten
Courtney L. McCluney, Lynn Perry Wooten and Erika Hayes James
Despite their mutual focus on responding effectively to organizational adversity, research on and application of crisis management and resilience in organizations are sparse, particularly in the realm of diversity crises. We therefore take an inductive approach to analyzing events that culminated in a systemic racial diversity crises and dismissal of institutional leaders on the University of Missouri’s campus between 2014 and 2016. Our inductive analysis of the unfolding diversity crisis present in this case study provides empirical support of organizational resilience as a process, which includes an ability to anticipate threats, cope effectively with unexpected events, and learn from these events. Our ethnographic content analysis of public documents unveiled the lack of knowledge in higher education to address diversity crisis, how social media escalates crisis to a tipping point, organizational capacity to demonstrate resilience in the midst of a crisis, and the need to prepare before, during and after crises occur. We further demonstrate how resilience creates dynamic capabilities and structures to facilitate organizational learning in preparation for future diversity-related crises. Collectively, we find that organizational responses to diversity crises create an opportunity to better understand when and how resilience emerges, and create positive resilience trajectories in the aftermath of a crisis.