Rise from ashes: A dynamic framework of organizational learning and resilience in disaster response

Change log

Abstract: Natural disasters are increasingly impacting the lives of organizations. The COVID‐19 pandemic has brought attention to how organizations improve their resilience and learn how to emerge stronger after such events. While there has been little integration between the literature on organizational learning and resilience, this article draws on both streams of literature to develop a conceptual framework that distinguishes three different organizational processes emerging in the aftermath of a disaster (resilience, learning from disasters, and learning through disasters). Each response is characterized by a specific outcome, mechanism, and temporal orientation. Moreover, the proposed framework discusses the dynamic relationships between these responses. While learning from disasters and resilience combine in a cyclical dynamic that leads to an upgrade in existing organizational capabilities, learning through disasters involves a transformative dynamic that leads to expanding organizational capabilities in new domains. This article is of value to both practitioners and scholars. For managers, it derives practical implications for improving the organization's capacity for transformation in the aftermath of a disaster such as COVID‐19. For scholars, it contributes to the debate about the long‐term interrelation between different organizational response to disasters and sheds light on the mechanisms of organizational renewal in the aftermath of a disaster.

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COVID-19, natural disasters, organizational change, organizational learning, organizational resilience
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Business and Society Review
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