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Anjana Anandakumar, Tyrone S. Pitsis and Stewart R. Clegg

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Miguel Pina e Cunha, João Vieira Da Cunha and Stewart R. Clegg

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Luca Giustiniano, Stewart R. Clegg, Miguel P.e. Cunha and Arménio Rego

With organizational environments becoming more unstable, uncertain and equivocal, the concept of resilience has become increasingly significant for management studies. Resilience connotes organizational, team and individual capacities to absorb external shocks and to learn from them, while simultaneously preparing for and responding to external jolts. This book pinpoints the essential aspects of managerial and organizational resilience and offers insights that stimulate critical thinking. As the concept of resilience is essentially made up of contrasting forces, the volume presents some innovative synthetic interpretation that allows a deeper comprehension of the phenomenon and provides managers and policy-makers with a solid basis for taking their decisions. 
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Luca Giustiniano, Stewart R. Clegg, Miguel P.e. Cunha and Arménio Rego

Organizational contexts are becoming growingly unstable and equivocal, increasingly as likely to host unforeseen and adverse events as to promote those that are uplifting. When crises and tragedies occur to individuals, teams, organizations or communities the responses are frequently framed in terms of ‘resilience’. What, exactly, resilience denotes is less clear. Resilience has become part of contemporary managerial jargon and, as such, it is often misinterpreted or misused. Resilience connotes capacities to absorb external shocks and to learn from them, while simultaneously preparing for and responding to external jolts, whether as organizations, teams or individuals. The book explores and illuminates contradictions related to resilience, rather than refuting them. In articulating organizational resilience, rather than merely reporting what the extant literature has already produced, this book proposes two innovative perspectives: namely, a multi-level diffusion model, and a dialectical interpretation of resilience.

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Luca Giustiniano, Stewart R. Clegg, Miguel P.e. Cunha and Arménio Rego

Organizational survival is constantly under potential challenge from risks past and present. To survive and prosper, organizations must transform stressors, jolts and shocks into new and resilient solutions. Extant studies are generally characterized by a high level of specialization, in terms of level of analysis (for example, individuals versus organization), the partiality of perspective (for example, strategic resilience versus disaster recovery), the nature of resilience itself (for example, as a form of reaction versus proaction) or the outcomes it generates (for example, adaptation versus learning). This chapter introduces an integrative framework based on the distinction between adaptive and reactive resilience. The focus is on the identification of resilience as a process – rather than a personal trait (resiliency), or a static property – referring to the achievement and maintenance of ‘positive adaptation’. ‘Learning to learn’, plays a central role in overcoming barriers against doing new things and embracing experimentation out of the comfort zone.

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Luca Giustiniano, Stewart R. Clegg, Miguel P.e. Cunha and Arménio Rego

Human being is a complex combination of intertwined agency and events that makes humans and their social constructions fascinating and unpredictable. As events unfold, failures and mistakes in constituting their significance enable us to learn how to identify pitfalls and what to avoid next time. In nature, traumatic events trigger the generation of biological antibodies and, by analogy, the formation of similar psychological defensive mechanisms. Individual resilience requires the presence of some negative stressor and an individual being exposed to significant threats; resilient individuals perform a positive adaptation in the face of stressful or threatening events. As individual resilience overlaps with some related constructs (for example, grit, thriving, anticipation, improvisation, coping), this chapter discusses how they articulate with individual resilience (a component of psychological capital) to isolate its antecedents and consequences. Resilience emerges also as a paradoxical strength: risk factors may destroy, but where they do not, resilience may be energized.

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Luca Giustiniano, Stewart R. Clegg, Miguel P.e. Cunha and Arménio Rego

This chapter opens with an extreme case of collective resilience in practice, one that involved innovating taboo-breaching norms (known as El Milagro de los Andes _ the ‘Miracle in the Andes’). Survivors of a plane crash, despite the unbearable conditions in terms of hygiene and starvation, created spontaneous forms of organizing, with subgroups taking care of the emerging priorities, with a clear occurrence of situational leadership and interweaving of spontaneous and pre-existing organizational structures. The ‘miracle’ shows that resilience can develop, not only at the individual level but also collectively. As collective resilience overlaps with some related constructs (for example, agility, flexibility, manoeuvrability, recovery, redundancy, robustness), this chapter discusses how they articulate with collective resilience to isolate its antecedents and consequences. Collective expressions of resilience take place within teams, organizations and communities even in the absence of, or with a minor role of, a resilient individual.

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Luca Giustiniano, Stewart R. Clegg, Miguel P.e. Cunha and Arménio Rego

A vulnerable organization can still survive; a resilient organization is expected to face adversity and yet prosper. As a spur to cross-level resilience research, this chapter proposes a multi-level model of resilience in organizations that can feed its cultivation. The model is based on the dynamic nature of resilience, seen as a process flowing across levels (individual, team, organization), and builds on interactive components: regular patterns that can be identified both at the lower level and in higher-level units (for example, individuals or teams), up to the organization considered as a whole. The interactive components are: organizational learning, psychological safety, positive interactions, improvisation. The model highlights the importance of interactions as the foundation for resilience emergence at different levels, and suggests ways for competitive organizations to increase their overall resilience. Resilience embeds interactions based on employee engagement as interactive features, but different organizational ecologies may require different types of resilience.

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Luca Giustiniano, Stewart R. Clegg, Miguel P.e. Cunha and Arménio Rego

The embeddedness of resilience across different levels relies on the multidimensional nature of human interactions and possible aggregations. Resilience can be recognized, absorbed and learned by individuals, teams, organizations and collectivities. Cases of resilience show that individual engagement could lead to a distributed cognition, which in turn is able dialectically to synthetize some apparent extremes, such as recovery from extreme damage, with business innovation. The dialectical interaction between adaptive and proactive forces results in a permanent dialectics, which is constitutive of organizational resilience that extends the role of the ‘positive feedback loop’ to an organization’s capabilities. Organizational resilience ultimately expresses a socially constructed process, embedding minimal conditions of constraints and deviation or construction, allowing individuals and organizations to be adaptive and flexible as action unfolds. Instead of looking for resolution, a dialectical framework represents organizational resilience as the productive outcome of a tension between two forms of adaptive and reactive resilience.