Adaptation in the face of the new normal

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Abstract

In this study, I argue that existing theories of organizational adaptation are inadequate in the face of the growing frequency of life-threatening events such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and pandemic diseases. An alternative is to build on the research on resilience. To that end, I highlight (a) the key differences between life-threatening events and traditional environmental challenges such as economic and technological change, (b) what makes resilience a more suitable lens for the discussion of life-threatening events, (c) the various modes and approaches that are associated with resilience, and (d) a synthesis of mechanisms that contribute to organizational resilience. This perspective advances a theoretically grounded understanding of the changing nature of environmental challenges and identifies the models of adaptation that are more suited to these challenges. It offers a renewed understanding of organizational adaptation, a guideline for practicing managers, and a forum for policy discussions that can more effectively address emerging environmental challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-530
Number of pages23
JournalAcademy of Management Perspectives
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing

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