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Organizational resilience and the entrepreneurial firm

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research


Guest Editors:
Martie-Louise Verreynne, University of Queensland
Marcus Ho, Auckland University of Technology
Martina Linnenluecke, University of Queensland

Sudden and unexpected changes in the business environment, such as those brought on by natural disasters, technological failure, and the global financial crisis has sparked an increased interest in the concept of resilience in organizations. The uncertainty and ambiguity that emerges from such crises or disasters have far reaching effects for organizations, including resource depletion, business disruption, productivity changes, and employee stress. Organizational resilience, the capacity to respond, adapt, and transform in response to sudden adverse events, is now recognized as an important characteristic for organizations seeking to prepare, recover, and adapt in the face of such shocks. This capacity to process significant setbacks and crises is of particular importance for entrepreneurial firms, and indeed some entrepreneurial organizations are better at managing and capitalizing on such disruptions.

Empirical research suggests that responding to adverse events depends on entrepreneurial leadership, and the ability to mobilize the organization’s resources, capabilities, and employees. These structural moderators can extend outside the organization to include networks and other forms of community participation. For example, entrepreneurial responses in the aftermath of natural disasters can contribute to building community resilience by providing a community with crucial goods and services as well as employment opportunities. The research therefore points to organizational resilience being a multi-level concept, in which individual, organizational, community, and other external factors are deeply entangled. A recent systematic literature points to the danger in this, indicating that organizational resilience, as with concepts studied from a multitude of disciplines and approaches, suffers from a fragmented knowledge base and diversity in conceptualization.

In entrepreneurial firms, organizational resilience seems to be accepted as nascent, yet there is a dearth of research that examines how organizational resilience emerges in the entrepreneurial firm . Yet resilience at different levels can explain how entrepreneurial firms survive through adversity and grow against the odds. For example, entrepreneurial firms, in contrast to larger organizations, have different access to resources, suffers from liability of newness, and is fluid in terms of its capabilities, resources, and structures . In entrepreneurial firms questions remain as to the appropriate levels of analysis, boundary conditions, process of emergence, complexity of interrelationships, and significance of the concept to related organizational concepts such as dynamic capabilities and absorptive capacity.

In this special issue, we are therefore interested in answering questions such as:
What are appropriate levels of analysis for organizational resilience?
How are internal resources, capabilities and people configured and reconfigured in response to adverse events?
How do strategically oriented responses that follow from organizational reconfiguration allow firms to prepare for future disruption?
How does organizational resilience emerge from the entrepreneurial and human capital of the firm?
What aspects of people, teams, communities and governments are essential in developing and sustaining organizational resilience?

We especially invite both theoretical and empirical papers that explore the following potential research questions around organizational resilience in the entrepreneurial firm:
How is entrepreneurial resilience related to organizational or community resilience?
What are negative outcomes to developing organizational resilience, for example the costs of preparation and planning?
What does a systems view of resilience in organization incorporate stakeholders, communities, competitors, governments and customers?
How does organizational resilience emerge in the entrepreneurial firm?
What resources, capabilities, and entrepreneurial activities are relevant in supporting organizational resilience?
How is organizational resilience related to organizational concepts such as culture, organizational agility, and strategic orientation?
How do the concepts and methods of resilience at the different levels of analysis (e.g. individual, organizational, community) differ or converge?
What methods are useful for examining organizational resilience?
How is organizational resilience supported, or how does it interact with for example individual and community resilience?

Submission details
Submissions to this special issue must be made through ScholarOne, the online submission and peer review system, which can be found at Authors are asked to ensure that before submitting, they ensure their manuscript complies with the Author Guidelines for International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research which can be found here ( When submitting, please be sure to select the correct Special Issue title from the drop down menu.

Submission Deadline: 1st November 2016

Queries concerning this special issue can be addressed to Guest Editor Martie-Louise Verreynne (

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