Resilience, Resilience, Resilience

Liisa Välikangas, Peter Ping Li

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has the feel and characteristics of a black swan event (Taleb, 2007, 2012) – as it involves a previously unknown virus with an extremely high infection rate that can survive on inert surfaces for extended periods, outside the range of normal probabilities, and has devastating social and economic consequences. This kind of emergence of an unknown pathogen was foreseen in the World Health Organization's (WHO's) R&D Blueprint in 2016 (, yet the world was clearly ill prepared, and the WHO was obviously slow to recognize the gravity of this pandemic after it emerged. The new Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI;, founded in Davos in 2017 as a global platform for accelerating the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, is investing in the development of a vaccine to immunize against future outbreaks of COVID-19. However, it is still at an early stage of operations. The pandemic has had the effect of freezing economies around the globe, for rich and poor countries alike. It has disrupted the established business models and global institutional alignments that underlie the coordination of international business, and it is forcing countries, enterprises, and organizations of all kinds to focus on the unprecedented challenge ahead: recovery. This challenge will be a test of resilience and of responsible leadership at the global, country, industrial, firm, family, and individual level (see, for example, MOR's recent call for proposals on Responsible Leadership). The history of catastrophic events, such as tsunamis, hurricanes, epic wildfires, earthquakes, terrorism (September 11 attacks), and financial crises (most recently in 2007–8) and subsequent recessions, hold the promise of ultimate recovery. However, the economic and social recovery that will follow the COVID-19 crisis will assume a magnitude never experienced before, largely because this is a multidimensional global crisis, rather an isolated local disaster or a one-dimensional crisis. Hence, this raises a broad question: How will this pandemic advance resilience in global economic and political systems while also propelling global economies forward with new strategies and institutional configurations?
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement and Organization Review
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)225-227
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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