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Managing in turbulence: how the capacity for resilience influences creativity



How do companies manage to compete in a marketplace marked by turbulence, and not be outcompeted? In our study we assess the resources used to create resilience in organizations and how each of these resources relates to organizational creativity. We show that organizational resilience is positively related to organizational creativity. Specifically, our study highlights that cognitive, emotional, and structural resources are important resources for organizations wanting to become creative. Our results are based upon a pilot in-depth qualitative case study followed by a survey of medium-sized firms.

The results in our study advance the emergent literature on resilience and on the practical applications of resilience in organizations. From a practical point of view, managers may realize that they have to develop a capacity for resilience (i.e. what they have to do) in order to have a creative organization, but a far bigger challenge is to understand the how; how the capacity for resilience is built. Our research shows that if managers truly want to manage in turbulence and still have a creative organization, they need to put a strong emphasis on the soft skills in the organization, in addition to the structural resources.