Firm engagement in community resilience to natural disasters

Brent A. McKnight, Martina K. Linnenluecke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Communities face the prospect of more extreme, frequent and damaging natural disasters and possible resilience failures. Firms are instrumental to the resilience of communities as they play a central role in supporting communities impacted by natural disasters delivering essential products and services during a natural disaster, and supplying inputs crucial for disaster recovery. However, there is a gap between the public policy literature that focuses on community-level resilience, and disaster-oriented management research that focuses on firm-centric reactions to natural disasters. In this paper, we argue that research is needed to understand the contributions that firms make to community resilience. The research presented here draws on a novel data set of 2,100 corporate press releases directly tied to the occurrence of 310 natural disasters over the 10 years following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Findings show: (1) the variety of firm responses to natural disasters, (2) the tendency of firms from the same sectors to adopt similar disaster responses, (3) the importance of the disaster type which drives responses, (4) the influence of the certainty yet unpredictability of disasters, and (5) the of role of geography. The paper concludes by offering suggestions for the future study of the intersection between firms, natural disasters, and community resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
Place of PublicationPhiladelphia, PA
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event75th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2015 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 7 Aug 201511 Aug 2015


Other75th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2015


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