Resilience in business and management research: A review of influential publications and a research agenda

Martina K. Linnenluecke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Citations (Scopus)


This paper identifies the development of and gaps in knowledge in business and management research on resilience, based on a systematic review of influential publications among 339 papers, books and book chapters published between 1977 and 2014. Analyzing these records shows that resilience research has developed into five research streams, or lines of enquiry, which view resilience as (1) organizational responses to external threats, (2) organizational reliability, (3) employee strengths, (4) the adaptability of business models or (5) design principles that reduce supply chain vulnerabilities and disruptions. A review of the five streams suggests three key findings: First, resilience has been conceptualized quite differently across studies, meaning that the different research streams have developed their own definitions, theories and understandings of resilience. Second, conceptual similarities and differences among these streams have not yet been explored, nor have insights been gleaned about any possible generalizable principles for developing resilience. Third, resilience has been operationalized quite differently, with few insights into the empirics for detecting resilience to future adversity (or the absence thereof). This paper outlines emerging research trends and pathways for future research, highlighting opportunities to integrate and expand on existing knowledge, as well as avenues for further investigation of resilience in business and management studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-30
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Management Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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