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Strategic management

Through various means of communication, we can become aware of really adverse and tragic situations that arise in the world; and where many of the people who experience them manage to overcome this scenario and recover until they achieve a life that, in a way, is considered normal.

It is then that the question arises as to why people who apparently live in similar adverse situations, exclusion and poverty, or tragic due to an event, manage to recover and achieve a normalized life, while others, however, do not overcome a certain adverse event .

In this regard, resilience or the ability to overcome diversity is a novel concept that arises from the concern to identify those factors that allow people to successfully avoid the difficulties and adverse conditions that arise in their daily lives. These factors of social and individual origin, seek to modify the traditional concept of risk factors, since they seek to promote that an unfavorable situation, instead of having a fatal consequence, can become a positive or resilience factor, which contributes to the improvement of conditions. life of a person and their environment. (Badilla, 1997)

Thus, in a similar way to individuals, resilience in organizations is the ability to recover from the difficulties they face in the exercise of their activity, or to absorb tension and preserve, and even improve their functioning in the face of presence of misfortunes or setbacks. Around this, it is considered that a resilient organization has a greater chance of identifying opportunities and taking advantage of them.

In this sense, organizations that perform in the current context of global crisis tend to be more concerned about the results in terms of the market or economy, than about the processes, decisions and behaviors that give rise to said results, and therefore, While some organizations grow in the face of problems and seem to take advantage of each scenario in which they operate, others are seriously threatened by adversity and lag behind changes in the environment. (Meneghel, Salanova, & Martínez, 2013)

Consequently, both individual and collective behaviors that are adopted to interpret the crisis and respond to it are a source of learning and vital strengthening for subsistence.

Strategic management

The word resilience comes from the Latin highlight (re jump) and connotes the idea of ​​bouncing or being refuted. Also, the prefix refers to the idea of ​​repetition, revive or resume. So it can be considered that resiliar is then, to revive, to go forward.

In the same way, the term resilience comes from the English ‘resilience’, which expresses the ability of a material to regain its original shape after being subjected to high pressure. In this sense, this term has its origin in the world of physics and is used to express the ability of some materials to return to their original state or shape after undergoing high deforming pressures. (Ehusfera, 2013)

This meaning of resilience raised in the field of physics, is also used in natural sciences to refer to the degree to which a system recovers or returns to its previous state, before the action of an external agent. However, it was in the 1970s, when the Swiss theologian Stephan Vanistendael, used the word resilience to refer to psychological aspects, and defined it as the ability of an individual to live well and to develop positively and in a social way. acceptable, despite experiencing difficult living conditions.

Similarly, in the year 1970, the child psychiatrist Michael Rutter and in the year 1983, the French neurologist, psychiatrist and ethologist Boris Cyrulnik, inspired by the concept until then used in the area of ​​physics, introduced the term of resilience in the field of psychology, to denote the ability of people to overcome tragedies or strongly traumatic events. (Ehusfera, 2013)

Finally, it was concluded that resilience does not mean invulnerability, since resilient people suffer like any other; however, their ability to have an adequate quality of life and to develop healthy and successful despite all painful experiences, is the true factor that differentiates them from other individuals.

Faced with such evidence, it can be considered that resilience is, therefore, the ability of the human being to face and overcome adverse situations, high-risk situations such as losses, damage received, extreme poverty, abuse, excessively stressful circumstances, among others; and generate in this process, a learning and even a positive transformation. Which implies a high capacity to adapt to the demands of the environment and flexibility to change and reorganize life after having received high negative impacts. (Arana, 2010)

Emmy Werner and Ruth Smith in the 80’s, studied the influence of risk factors that occur when the processes of lifestyle, work, daily life, social, cultural, political relationships and ecological, are characterized by deep social inequity and discrimination, both gender and ethnocultural inequality that generate unfair forms of remuneration with its consequence: poverty, a life system full of stressors, physical, psychological and / or emotional overloads, exposure to dangers and destructive processes that are part of certain modes of social functioning or of human groups. (Gómez, 2010)

Faced with such research, resilience was considered as something that could be studied once individuals adapted and stabilized after experiencing adverse events, that is, a person was only labeled as resilient, if there had already been a positive adaptation ; and then, those studies focused on finding the factors that had made this improvement possible.

On the other hand, the second generation of researchers in this tenor, constituted by Michael Rutter and Edith Grotberg, among others; considered resilience as a process that can be promoted. Therefore, their research aimed to specify which are the dynamics present in the resilient process, with the purpose of being replicated in similar contexts. In this way, it became necessary to investigate the relationship between the different risk factors and the resilient ones, and, on the other hand, to develop models that would allow to cause resilience effectively through intervention programs. (Gómez, 2010)

For their part, as mentioned (Arana, 2010), examples such as that of Anne Frank, Víctor Frankl, among many other characters, as well as some survivors of the Jewish holocaust at the hands of the Nazis, or orphaned children survivors of the bombing of London during The Second World War, which managed to reorganize their lives and overcome the horror of war and devastation, reveal the great capacity of human beings to resist their traumatic experiences.

In the business world, when referring to successful companies, those that have lasted for a long time in the market and are currently in people’s minds are usually taken as a reference; Therefore, it is of great importance that in the variable business world, in the same way that there are people with a strong capacity for survival, there are also resilient organizations that, taking advantage of the difficulties they face in their environment, capitalize and turn into opportunities failures and misfortunes, in order to excel in the pursuit of being more productive, more competitive and smarter. (Contreras, 2011)

In this case, the use of the concept of resilience is recent in the organizational field and is also defined as the capacity of a system to absorb the changes that are seen as a series of sudden crises and still retain its essential functionality. Thus, if crisis situations inhibit the vital processes of the system, it is due to the temporary inability to deal effectively with the complexity generated by the actors and variables located in the context of the organization.

Organizational resilience aims to identify and study the different factors that make it possible for organizations to recover when going through complex adversities; and provide feedback on said factors to assess the willingness of the company to face a period of crisis and consider the level of disturbance that it can withstand before falling to a critical point for its sustainability.

The idea is to collaborate so that organizations adapt more and better to the complexities of the market without sacrificing their independence; and therefore create a more enduring organism. Since, as has been stated, the current global market conditions have shown that the way of doing business and managing companies has completely changed, because now the challenge is to learn to work in the crisis, to know how to deal with extremely unstable markets and manage in shortages. Therefore, in such circumstances, some organizations begin to worry about training, developing and increasing the resilient capacity of both their members and themselves, to improve their own response capacity in an unfavorable environment; it has been shown that those companies that are resistant to change tend to disappear. (Leon, 2013)

However, for there to be resilience within an organization, it is not necessary that it is suffering or has suffered any disturbance, however, in companies that have gone through major setbacks, their degree of resilience can be detected more clearly.

Why do certain organizations usually overcome unfavorable stages and even come out stronger and others not? In this regard, various figures have studied the factors associated with organizational resilience, which allow companies to adequately overcome setbacks, problems and misfortunes in the exercise of their daily activities and that could put their permanence in the market at risk.

With regard to this, it is easy to identify that organizations that have not been able to recover from the crisis almost always repeat the same mistakes; and those that have managed to leave behind are characterized by assuming setbacks with a certain impetus that has made them recognized not only for their prosperity, but also for their great ability to solve problems in the face of market adversity.

Therefore, various investigations on this subject have shown the existence of certain factors in common, which can be considered important in the analysis of organizational behavior, since their use can be vital for the durability of any company. Thus, (León, 2013) lists three relevant factors for the development of resilience in organizations:

Leadership: When organizations are in a critical or highly uncertain environment, a high degree of insecurity tends to develop within them, due to the fact that a large number of conjectures are generated related to the future of the company; same that greatly affect its stability and harmony.

Therefore, at this point, the good work of a leader is vital to guide the group towards the goal that was once clear, but which due to various circumstances has been clouded for the vast majority of its members. Thus, in the cases of companies that are led back to success, they have people who enjoy ambition for the organizational cause and not just personal; who are convinced that it is possible and worthwhile to make their work a momentous act, which can positively impact their organization and therefore their personal interests.

In this way, one of the types of leadership that best adapts to organizational resilience is the so-called transformational leadership, which is defined as one that anticipates future trends and inspires others to adopt a new vision of possibilities, developing others to also be leaders and conceiving the group as a unit that constantly learns.

Objectivity: It refers to the quality that the organization must build throughout its productive life, which constitutes the ability to visualize the true inconvenience that leads to the crisis, that is, to establish the root of the problem and not its consequences.

Thus, the importance of this factor focuses on the optimization of resources that are usually scarce when the company is in a difficult period. Since generally, organizations limit themselves to dealing with the consequences or symptoms of the problems presented and build an elaborate strategy to attack what at the time is considered to be the origin of the crisis, thereby causing the misuse of their available resources.

Sense of belonging: When referring to this factor, the great drawback is its complexity when trying to be materialized in the organization’s strategies, since its members should be committed to it; however, true commitment only comes out of conviction.

When the employees of a company have a sense of belonging, they not only understand the values ​​disclosed by it, but also transmit them and make them respect them under any circumstance. And thus, this type of thinking causes companies not only to resurface in a solid way, but also to do so independently. (Leon, 2013)