Organizational Network Resilience after Unexpected Shocks

Valentina Iacopino, Valentina Iacopino, Federica Angeli, Fausto Di Vincenzo, Daniele Mascia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Organizational resilience can be viewed as the capability of organizations and systems to absorb and adapt to environmental shocks, by either bouncing back to their initial status, or achieving a new, more advantageous equilibrium. Limited research has been conducted on the antecedents to organizational and systemic resilience, and particularly in the context of radical, sudden changes. Particularly understudied is the analysis of relational dynamics in situations of sudden change, when social relationships, their structure and their evolution during environmental shocks or turbulences may be an important antecedent of organizational and systemic resilience. This paper explores how organizations within an open, complex adaptive system modify their social capital to achieve performance resilience, by investigating the modifications of patient referral networks among hospitals in the Abruzzo region as a consequence of the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake. Our findings reveal that the earthquake has an important, although highly-differentiated, effect on the network structure as a whole and on the ego-network structure of regional hospitals. While network structure indicators seem not to be significantly modified by the earthquake and exhibit a substantial stability of the system’s performance, social capital structure of the collapsed hospital changes profoundly in the disaster aftermath and these changes are more radical and profound than the those observed in other hospitals in the network. Moreover, our findings highlight that both geographical and social proximity are significant factors underpinning nodes’ heterogenous reaction to changes. A discussion of the main theoretical contributions of our findings concludes the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings
Number of pages1
VolumeVOLUME 2019, ISSUE 1 / AUGUST 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Duration: 9 Aug 201913 Aug 2019


Conference79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
CityBoston, Massachusetts, USA


  • Organizational Resilience
  • Social Network Analysis


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