Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 25 Issue 3 (September 2017), Pages 117-193

The relational activation of resilience model: How leadership activates resilience in an organizational crisis (pages 136-147)

We proposed the Relational Activation of Resilience model to explain how leaders could utilize relationships to activate resilience during crisis and illustrated it using an abbreviated case study of Tan Tock Seng Hospital during the severe acute respiratory syndrome crisis in Singapore in 2003. Early signs of the crisis were recognized by organizational leaders, who then ushered liminality—a period when routines were disrupted, and new relational connections were made to allow members to adjust psychologically, emotionally, and socially, to activate resilience. Within the liminal period, leaders influenced the formation of new connections through mutual and swift trust and utilized these networks to enable collective meaning‐making and sensemaking. In addition, leaders communicated mindfully via these networks to promote positive emotional connections among members. These leadership tasks resulted in the formation of relational networks that could serve as social, emotional, and cognitive resources for organizational resilience.

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