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Journal Articles M@n@gement Year : 2009

Assessing organizational resilience: an interactionist approach

Céline Cholez
Thomas Reverdy


This article addresses the issue of organizational resilience in a structural context marked by complexity, change and distribution of activities between interdependent occupational groups. We adopt an interactionist approach, relying mostly on the works of E.C. Hughes and A. Strauss to show how articulation within and between groups can affect the achievement of organizational goals (safety and production) in the face of unexpected events. The paper is based on an empirical study of teams involved in major modernization projects of the rail transport system and facing critical, risky and very constrained work situations. Our empirical results describe in depth the nature of arrangements and negotiations made within and between occupational groups to articulate the work. We show how organizational conditions affect these arrangements and finally the resilience of the project organization and groups within it. We then discuss our results in four main points, aiming to give a more general scope to our results. Our first two points demonstrate how professional rivalries and asymmetric relations lead to a displacement in organizational goals and affect resilience. Our third point assesses the role and the limits of both informal and formal arrangements in articulation and resilience. We finally show how adopting an interactionist perspective questions the notion of resilience for an organization as a whole.
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halshs-00484101 , version 1 (17-05-2010)


  • HAL Id : halshs-00484101 , version 1


Stéphanie Tillement, Céline Cholez, Thomas Reverdy. Assessing organizational resilience: an interactionist approach. M@n@gement, 2009, 12 (4), pp.230-265. ⟨halshs-00484101⟩
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