Natural Hazards

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 47–60 | Cite as

Organizing social resilience in the context of natural hazards: a research note

  • Gerard Hutter
Original Paper


Organizational scholars increasingly use the term “resilience” to analyze options of dealing with uncertain context conditions. What do these scholars have to offer to researchers in the field of natural hazards? This research note makes three suggestions. First, the research note frames social resilience—in contrast to a rigid response to radical change—as a process of broadening information-based activities, loosening formal controls, and using slack resources of organizational members. Second, the research note argues to leave the meaning of social resilience undefined at the outset of a research project with the aim of building theory about resilience. It is expected that a useful definition emerges in empirical research. Third, organizational studies highlight specific social structures and processes of social resilience, for instance, small groups of individuals in organizational and interorganizational contexts. Organizing becomes a crucial factor for dealing with natural hazards.


Floods Organizing Radical change Resilient response Small groups Threat-rigidity thesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Ecological and Regional Development (IOER)DresdenGermany

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