‘Out of life’s school of war: What does not destroy me, makes me stronger’, ‘maxim and arrow’ is one of Nietzsche’s most famous aphorisms. Although the maxim is part of a wider and more elaborated discourse on the eschatology of beings and humanity (Ausmus 1978), it has been read in modern terms as a threefold property of human behavior. Nietzsche’s maxim is ego-centred. Shifting the focus of the maxim away from specific individuals to aggregated social entities refocuses the strength of resilience as a property of groups, organizations and entire collectivities . In popular culture, the sentiment was paraphrased in terms of management as ‘that which does not kill us makes us stronger’, in the rhetoric of US President Richard Nixon (Aitken 1996). The centrality of resilience in contemporary managerial discourse is mostly related to the social, political, environmental and economic turmoil to which organizations have been exposed during the past decades. The centrality of resilience in contemporary managerial discourse is mostly related to the social, political, environmental and economic turmoil – organizational ‘jolts’ (Meyer, 1982) – to which organizations have been exposed during the past decades. In a world ‘becoming turbulent faster than organizations are becoming resilient’ (Hamel and Välikangas, 2003, p. 52), challenging conditions require resilient responses. To survive and prosper, organizations must transform jolts and shocks into new and resilient solutions (Ashmos and Huber, 1987), learning to recharge rather than to endure. When organizations and their members are confronted with crises (e.g. Kahn et al., 2013; Mitchell, 2013; Xavier et al., 2014; Kossek and Perrigino, 2016), economic distress (Klehe et al., 2012; Endo et al., 2015), and ‘ugly’ surprises (Weick and Sutcliffe, 2001; Hadida, 2009; Sutcliffe and Vogus, 2008; Buchanan and Denyer, 2013; Van der Vegt et al., 2015) the value of resilience increases. While most studies have emphasized the ‘bright side’ of resilience, some recent contributions have also unveiled its potential ‘dark side’ (Giustiniano, Cunha and Clegg, 2016). Starting from a systematic literature review, this paper delineates the diversity, contradictions and conflicts related to the heterogeneity of the disciplinary fields, metaphors and analogies used to discuss resilience. Later we develop implications for theory and practice.

“What does not kill us…”: A review and a dialectical (re)interpretation of organizational resilience / Giustiniano, Luca; Cunha, Miguel Pina e; Rego, Arménio. - The resilient organization: design, change and innovation in the globalized economy, (2018), pp. 1-7. (WOA 2018, Rome, Italy, February 15-16, 2018).

“What does not kill us…”: A review and a dialectical (re)interpretation of organizational resilience

Luca, Giustiniano
;
2018

Abstract

‘Out of life’s school of war: What does not destroy me, makes me stronger’, ‘maxim and arrow’ is one of Nietzsche’s most famous aphorisms. Although the maxim is part of a wider and more elaborated discourse on the eschatology of beings and humanity (Ausmus 1978), it has been read in modern terms as a threefold property of human behavior. Nietzsche’s maxim is ego-centred. Shifting the focus of the maxim away from specific individuals to aggregated social entities refocuses the strength of resilience as a property of groups, organizations and entire collectivities . In popular culture, the sentiment was paraphrased in terms of management as ‘that which does not kill us makes us stronger’, in the rhetoric of US President Richard Nixon (Aitken 1996). The centrality of resilience in contemporary managerial discourse is mostly related to the social, political, environmental and economic turmoil to which organizations have been exposed during the past decades. The centrality of resilience in contemporary managerial discourse is mostly related to the social, political, environmental and economic turmoil – organizational ‘jolts’ (Meyer, 1982) – to which organizations have been exposed during the past decades. In a world ‘becoming turbulent faster than organizations are becoming resilient’ (Hamel and Välikangas, 2003, p. 52), challenging conditions require resilient responses. To survive and prosper, organizations must transform jolts and shocks into new and resilient solutions (Ashmos and Huber, 1987), learning to recharge rather than to endure. When organizations and their members are confronted with crises (e.g. Kahn et al., 2013; Mitchell, 2013; Xavier et al., 2014; Kossek and Perrigino, 2016), economic distress (Klehe et al., 2012; Endo et al., 2015), and ‘ugly’ surprises (Weick and Sutcliffe, 2001; Hadida, 2009; Sutcliffe and Vogus, 2008; Buchanan and Denyer, 2013; Van der Vegt et al., 2015) the value of resilience increases. While most studies have emphasized the ‘bright side’ of resilience, some recent contributions have also unveiled its potential ‘dark side’ (Giustiniano, Cunha and Clegg, 2016). Starting from a systematic literature review, this paper delineates the diversity, contradictions and conflicts related to the heterogeneity of the disciplinary fields, metaphors and analogies used to discuss resilience. Later we develop implications for theory and practice.
Organizational resilience; adaptive resilience; proactive resilience; synthesis; dialectics; paradoxes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/177366
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