The Resilience Forum: A Lingering Conclusion

Liisa Välikangas, Arie Y. Lewin

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The Management Organization Review ‘Forum on Resilience’ was kicked off by the editors’ perspective on the lingering new normal (Välikangas & Lewin, 2020). We conclude the forum by reflecting on the persisting – perhaps hopeful, perhaps disturbing – take-aways. Not surprisingly, some companies have demonstrated resilience capabilities in quickly seizing opportunities even when faced with what initially looked like the end of business. Such determined agility represented, for example, improvising an emergent-opportunity-fitting strategy or it may have been manifested by government action (e.g., China, New Zealand, and Finland). Most famously, Zoom, the by-now ubiquitous video communications company, benefited from being in the right place at the right time, but also effectively dealt with issues such as ‘zoom bombing’, a security breach, including an upgrade of its encryption. Such successful growth strategy requires being ready for an opportunity. But the backward-looking depiction of successes also highlights the absence of a developed science of organization design underlying resilience and management practices (Lewin & Välikangas, 2020). In addition, building cognitive and stakeholder preparedness, as Zhang, Dong, and Yi (2020) and Liu and Yin (2020) point out, may be important, as well as considering leadership implications discussed by Giustiniano, Cunha, Simpson, Rego, and Clegg (2020) in the context of coping with the paradoxes unleashed by resilience. Emergency management systems become sorely tested (Cai & Ye, 2020). Do we have a new buzzword for uncertain times (Cai, 2020) or something to learn from that will help in coping with future crises or understanding the renaissance of resilience? Some themes rise above others.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement and Organization Review
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)967-970
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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