Enacting resilience towards sustainable outcomes

Many agree that resilience is important, including for marketing (Trim and Lee, 2000), for communities (Bene et al. 2014), and for sustainable development (UN Habitat, 2019). Resilience as a concept gained attention in the 1960s, becoming a central focus for academic fields such as ecology (Bene et al., 2014). It has since became a lens employed when discussing social systems across various levels, including at the individual, organizational, and community level, and beyond (Westley, 2013). Publications focusing on resilience have seen an exponential increase since 2000 (Linnenluecke, 2017) and over 80 percent of organizations are concerned about resilience of, for example, their supply chains (World Economic Forum, 2013).

However, despite its increasing importance, business scholarship has paid less attention (van der Vegt et al., 2015), where resilience discussions have largely been focused on supply chain systems (Pereira and de Silva, 2015). In particular, resilience is under-theorized and under-researched in marketing (Hutton, 2016). As a result, there has been calls for increased attention to resilience in business (e.g. van der Vegt et al., 2015), where “many (if not all) avenues are open for future research in resilience” (Vogus and Sutcliffe, 2007, p. 3420).

What is resilience, however? Some define resilience as the ability to bounce back or return to a steady state (the so-called ‘engineering resilience’ (Holling, 1973). However, other work has argued that “resilience of complex adaptive systems is not simply about resistance to change and conservation of existing structures” (Folke, 2006, p. 7), rather it is also about making changes to structures and functions (van der Vegt et al., 2015). In either case, resilience requires a holistic and systematic view (Meadows, 2008), and thus dovetails with systematic enquiries of marketing.

This track welcomes topics focused on the concept of resilience, especially as it relates to marketing system actors, structures, and relationships and their role in supporting or constraining resilience and links to sustainable development. Both theoretical and empirical works from a broad range of perspectives are encouraged.

Queries related to this track may be addressed to Professor Stefanie Beninger: Stefanie.Beninger@ie.edu


Béné, C., Newsham, A., Davies, M., Ulrichs, M., & Godfrey‐Wood, R. (2014). Resilience, poverty and development. Journal of International Development, 26(5), 598-623.

Holling, C. S. (1973). Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annual review of ecology and systematics, 4(1), 1-23.

Hutton, M. (2016). Neither passive nor powerless: reframing economic vulnerability via resilient pathways. Journal of Marketing Management, 32(3-4), 252-274.

Linnenluecke, M. K. (2017). Resilience in business and management research: A review of influential publications and a research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 19(1), 4-30.

Meadows, D. H. (2008). Thinking in Systems: A Primer. Chelsea Green Publishing.

Pereira, C. R., & Da Silva, A. L. (2015). Key Organisational Factors to Building Supply Chain Resilience: a Multiple Case Study of Buyers and Suppliers. Journal of Operations and Supply Chain Management, 8(2), 77-95.

Trim, P. R., & Lee, Y. I. (2008). A strategic marketing intelligence and multi-organisational resilience framework. European Journal of Marketing, 42(7/8), 731-745.

UN Habitat (2019), Resilience, Retrieved from https://oldweb.unhabitat.org/resilience. 

Van Der Vegt, G. S., Essens, P., Wahlström, M., & George, G. (2015). Managing Risk and Resilience: From the Editors, Academy of Management Journal. 58, (4), 971-980. 

Vogus, T. J., & Sutcliffe, K. M. (2007). Organizational resilience: towards a theory and research agenda. In 2007 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 418-3422.

Westley, F. (2013). Social innovation and resilience: how one enhances the other. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 11(3), 28-39.

World Economic Forum (2013), Building Resilience in Supply Chains, Retrieved from http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_RRN_MO_BuildingResilienceSupplyChains_Report_2013.pdf

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