How to Design for Strategic Resilience: A Case Study in Retailing

Liisa Välikangas, Georges Romme


Few firms can be said to be truly resilient by sustaining high performance for a long time. We draw on a case study of a large U.S.-based retailer to explore how an organization develops resilience – the ability to recover quickly from environmental jolts or misfortunes. The company’s CEO, concerned about the company’s ability to maintain its industry leadership and excellent performance, sought to engage the organization in a broad quest for developing resilience capabilities. Our analysis of this case suggests that generative doubt, organizational slack, and mindful engagement throughout the organization are key conditions for resilience. These three conditions need to co-exist to develop and sustain strategic resilience.


Resilience; organizational resilience; strategic resilience; organization design; mindfulness; generative doubt; slack resources; leadership

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ISSN: 2245-408X

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