Topic: Role of resilience-building


You are required to re-read Chapter 5: Building Resilience into the Organization and discuss your take on the issue of resilience and CSR in relation to your final research paper.

What role, if any, does the      concept of resilience play in your research topic? 
In your opinion how significant      resilience building is in achieving a suitable CSR and dependable      Corporate Governance?  
What is your take on the      overall interplay of the three concepts of organizational      resilience building, achieving a suitable CSR, and creating a      dependable Corporate Governance?

Building Resilience into the Organization
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sane
Leadership: Showcases in the German-Speaking
Karl Kaz
Abstract Organizational resilience is defined as ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, respond, as well as adapt to incremental change and sudden
disruptions in order to survive and prosper. In the last decade(s), organizations
have often lost their “natural” resilience because there was a high priority on
superficial efficiency over a long period. But an exaggerated focus on efficiency
leads to brittleness and weakness in living systems. There is not enough redundancy
and diversity anymore to buffer uncertainty and permanent changes. To (re)balance
our organizations, we have to become more flexible and robust at the same time, and
systems have to enhance diversity and be more open to different opinions and
In the last 10 years, psychosocial diseases have grown tremendously in Germanspeaking countries, with days absent due to psychosocial diseases growing 100% in
Germany during this time. The main reason is depression often caused by burnout
syndrome. Usually burnout is treated as a personal problem. However, there is a
connection between frequency of burnout and the corporate culture. Companies
must therefore treat hidden conflicts and unhealthy structures in their systems. Sane
leadership feels the responsibility to foster a health-conscious (salutogenesis)
In German-speaking countries, more and more pioneers—often smaller- and
medium-sized companies—are realizing successful businesses in connection with
resilient culture and structures, a healthy work environment embedded in a trusty
corporate culture, and a high-level CSR policy. In this chapter four short case studies
in German-speaking countries are presented.
Paper presented for the 3rd International Conference on CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance,
Sustainable Management as a New Business Paradigm, Cologne, Germany (1st to 3rd of
August 2016).
K. Kaz (*)
KAZ Consulting, Cologne, Germany
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
R. Schmidpeter et al. (eds.), International Dimensions of Sustainable Management,
CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance,
K. Kaz
Core statement of this chapter: Sane leadership and organizational resilience are
the basis of widespread and all-embracing corporate social responsibility (CSR).
1 Organizational Resilience: Toward a Holistic Approach
In Anglo-American business literature, the term resilience is mostly focused on
aspects like security, protection, crises management, preparedness, and risk management. British Standard BS65000 defines “organizational resilience” as the “ability of
an organization to anticipate, prepare for, and respond and adapt to incremental
change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper.” This means that
the main efforts focus on improving structures and processes, measurement and
controlling, and the physical or technical as well as the financial environment of the
company. We cannot deny the need and necessity of all these activities. In our
opinion, however, this is a narrow-minded concept of organizational resilience, and
hence we want to open the concept up to new aspects.
The origin of the term resilience comes from the material sciences, which defines
resilience as the ability of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically
and release that energy upon unloading. This means that resilient organizations have
to show both stability and flexibility. In nature, descriptive examples for resilience
are bamboos or the sponges. But flexibility in organization depends strongly on the
human factor. This means that leadership and corporate culture should play bigger
roles in this context. Rigid alarm plans or perfect security instruction is maybe useful
but does not help make a company more creative and robust in a world of permanent
change. What is needed are highly flexible and smooth organizations that demonstrate robustness and cleverness at the same time.
Really resilient organizations have the ability to endure strategic brakes. They
have the power to act actively during phases of transition and do not lose power.
Phases of change that are unclear, uncertain, and often confusing are almost the norm
in twenty-first-century companies. There is the ongoing technological progress,
incredible developmental speed, globalization, and enhanced digital possibilities.
Stolid and cumbersome strategies will not work anymore. If old-school strategies no
longer make sense, then the solution lies in an enhanced organizational resilience
that can become the new, key strategic factor.
2 Three Ways to Deduce Organizational Resilience
We want to present three ways to deduce organizational resilience. The first
approach will be to look what ecological system theory has to contribute to its
understanding (Holling 1973; Holling et al. 2002; Lietaer et al. 2010). A second
possibility is to transfer the individual resilience concept of the positive psychology
Building Resilience into the Organization
Fig. 1 Transformation in the flexibility dilemma (Hänsel 2016, p. 29)
(Reivich and Shatté 2002) to the organizational level. And the third avenue we have
found is an empirical approach: Which companies coped best in the deep crises after
2008? “Leadership matters, but it is not sufficient. You don’t rely on the right leader
alone for success but build the capability to be resilient into the organization”
(Välikangas 2010).
Resilience and the Ecological System Theory1
Transformation processes can be understood as an interrelationship between stability
and flexibility. A successful transformation can be reached if a balance between both
poles is achieved. Too much stability means paralysis—too much flexibility means
collapse (Fig. 1).
Healthy and sustainable systems are capable of entering an adaptive cycle, which
is illustrated in the next graphic. After a phase of continuous growth, the system
comes to a phase of stagnancy. Nowadays, only a crisis helps initiate further
development. The growth phase means more efficiency and optimization—but in a
crisis phase, the system needs resilience (Fig. 2).
The front loop of the adaptive cycle can be seen as largely characterized by incremental
innovation, and the back loop is typically marked by radical innovation. Factors that trigger a
switch from the front loop to the back loop often derive from processes operating at larger or
smaller scales than that of the system of interest (Holling et al. 2002). “Traps” in the adaptive
cycle may also be seen in the context of innovation. A “poverty trap” (stuck in the α-phase)
Thanks to my friend Markus Hänsel who shared these ideas with me (Hänsel 2016, pp. 13–40).
K. Kaz
1.Preparing for change
3.Building resilience of
the transformed system
reorganization (α)
cr R
em O
en NT
ta L
l in O
no OP
conservation (K)
exploitation (r)
the transition
creating a window
of opportunity
for change
dic K
al LOO
ova P release (Ω)
ti o n
Phases of transformation
from Olsson et al.(2004)
Fig. 2 The adaptive cycle of transformation (C.S. Holling 1973)
refers to a situation where the system is unable to move out of the back loop because of a lack
of new ideas or an inability to choose an option and act upon it, given a lack of resources, for
example. A “rigidity trap” (stuck in the K-phase) results from resistance to the adoption of
new innovations because of, for example, large, rigid bureaucracies or powerful groups with
vested interests . . .. Boxes indicate the phases of transformation in ecosystem management
identified by Olsson et al. (2004) that we have mapped onto the adaptive cycle.2
The resilience research of socio-ecological systems has formulated three central
dimensions (Folke et al. 2010):
• Robustness: Smaller disturbance factors can be easily coped; there are buffer
components which stabilize the system.
• Adaptation: A very flexible learning system while maintaining system integrity.
• Transformation: When changes are so fundamental and powerful that adaption no
longer makes sense, the system is capable of fundamental transformation (without
dissipating completely or collapsing) (Fig. 3).
A key factor for the capability of adaptation—and in the end, of transformation
(if needed)—is the diversity and the connectivity in the system. Lietaer3 and his staff
have shown that there is a window of viability where the system can thrive
successfully for long periods of times. If there is not a balance between efficiency
and resilience, there is the danger that the system becomes brittle and fragile. The
balance optimum is even more important in the area of resilience than in the field of
efficiency. If we really embrace this phenomenon, short-term efficiency and shortterm thinking will increasingly disappear. We can learn a lot from nature and
existing ecosystems and transform this knowledge into productive social systems
(i.e., companies).
Lietaer et al. (2010, p. 8).
Building Resilience into the Organization
Fig. 3 Dimensions of the resilience of systems
In my opinion we have reached a limit in the last 30 years. Before the digital
revolution at the end of the last century, corporate systems had much more natural
“resilient buffer,” and built-in stress was much lower. Somehow it is logical that the
issue burnout is coming up the public discussion in the last decade of the last
century. Ecological system theory can become a huge resource and could be used
very concretely in business administration (but also in economic theory if “Big
Brother” efficiency finally gets a “sister” named resilience).
The Individual Concept of Resilience and Its Transfer
to the Organization
In German-speaking countries, concepts of organizational resilience were mostly
derived from psychological models. Almost every German publication started with
the concept of Reivich and Shatté (2002). The Institute of Positive Psychology (the
famed Martin Seligman found the Positive Psychology Center in Pennsylvania) has
developed an empirically based concept of so-called resilience factors (www.
K. Kaz
1 Meaning
Future oriented
gives meaning
2 Contribu on
Belonging, contact to (Self-) Confidence
3 Self-Awareness
Ambiguity tolerance
4 Posi ve Values
5.Construc ve
Effec veness
Capacity to act
SoluƟon orientaƟon
Agility and ObjecƟves
Focus on resources
Capacity of reacƟon
6.Adequate Behavior
Acceptance and retain OrientaƟon& Empathy
7.Frame Condi ons
Fig. 4 Seven levels and three pillars of resilience qualities (Translated by the author of this chapter)
Empirical studies show there are several factors that develop and sustain a
person’s resilience:
• The ability to make realistic plans and be capable of taking the necessary steps to
follow through with them
• Positive self-awareness and confidence in one’s strengths and abilities
• Communication and problem-solving skills
• The ability to manage strong impulses and feelings
These factors are not necessarily inherited; they can be developed in any individual and promote resilience.
In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, management consultants and trainers have
derived resilience concepts to create leadership and managerial training (e.g.,
Wellensiek 2011, 2012; Mourlane 2013, 2015; Heller 2013, 2015). In a next step,
concepts for organizational consultancy were developed (e.g., Philipsen and Ziemer
2014; Beyer and Haller 2016; Huemer and Preissegger 2016). For example,
Philipsen and Ziemer (2014, p. 73) developed a concept with seven levels and the
three dimensions “staff,” “leadership/management,” and “organization” (Fig. 4).
This is an attempt to develop a holistic view about developing resilience in an
organization. The human resource aspects and the factual considerations are
respected in a similar manner.
Huemer and Preissegger (2014, 2016, p. 229) are describing the Trigon consultancy model. They recognize four dimensions that are relevant to organizational
resilience (Fig. 5).
These are some descriptive aspects of the four dimensions:
• Self: Self-regulation, meaning, balance, finding orientation in a complex world,
• Team: Trustful dialogue-oriented corporate culture, using diversity, success of
the team has priority, courageous decisions
Building Resilience into the Organization
Fig. 5 Dimensions of
organizational resilience
Organiza onal
• Organization: Honest “culture of error,” learning organization, focus on innovation, participation, erasing system blockades, buffering risks
• Environment/Market: Using knowledge from the point of sale, recognizing weak
signals concerning chances and risks, finding new scenarios, thinking the
An Empirical Approach to Organizational Resilience
Välikangas and her team have done a valuable empirical study in the United States.
After the 2008 financial crisis, she asked why some companies coped so successfully
with the hard times. What she found was five dimensions of organizational resilience. These dimensions can be described as follows:
1. Organizational intelligence: Organizations are intelligent when they successfully accommodate multiple voices and diverse thoughts.
2. Resourcing: Organizations are resourceful when they manage to mitigate change or, even
better, use resource scarcity for innovative breakthroughs.
3. Design: Organizations are robustly designed when their structural characteristics support
resilience and avoid systematic traps.
4. Adaptations: Organizations are adaptive and fit when they rehearse change.
5. Culture: Organizations express resilience in a culture when they have sisu4-values that do
not allow the organization to give up or give in, but instead invite its members to rise to
the challenge. (Välikangas 2010, p. 92 f.)
The book of Välikangas is full of original ideas. For example, she suggests using
a corporate jester: “In Of Managers, Ideas, and Jesters, Guje Sevón and I argue that
ideas are very resilient—indeed more so than people often succumb to their
Means in Finnish tenacity, persistence, or toughness
K. Kaz
persuasion. Humor is important in combating bad ideas that do not go away or which
reappear in history again and again” (Välikangas 2010, p. 118). Other helpful
references are playing devil’s advocate, a shadow executive team (a group of
managerial junior staff), developing a network of independent people or exploring
issues in terms of extremes.
The subtitle of the book is named How Adaptive Culture Thrives Even When
Strategy Fails. Indeed it seems that it makes less and less sense to formulate 5-year
strategies if the world is changing so rapidly. It seems better to have a resilient and
flexible organization which copes with the challenges as a vital intelligent system or
better organism.
3 Growth of Psychosocial Diseases and the Basic
Psychological Needs
It is alarming: In the last 10 years, psychosocial diseases have grown extremely in
the German-speaking countries. Days absent due to psychosocial diseases have
doubled in Germany in the last 10 years (BundesPsychotherapeutenKammer
2015). The main reason is depression often caused by burnout syndrome. Usually
burnout has been treated as a personal problem. But there is a connection between
frequency of burnout and the corporate culture. Companies must therefore treat
hidden conflicts and unhealthy structures in their systems. Sane leadership embraces
the responsibility of fostering a health-conscious (salutogenesis) organization.
Here is not the place to describe burnout syndrome or other psychosocial diseases
extensively. What we want to show is the correlation between the growth of
psychosocial diseases and the persistent ignorance concerning basic psychological
needs. As the third component in this game, resilience seems like the adequate
attribute to cut off the vicious circle.
In a world of permanent change, people must be flexible and open to new
challenges and at the same time have a stable and centered personality. This is
difficult in a world with thousands of distractions and overstimulation. We live in the
so-called VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous).
If the people (management and staff) in companies could be more resilient and the
culture and structures in companies supported this work and lifestyle, many problems could be solved.
A person demonstrates resilience and stress tolerance by continuing to perform effectively
when faced with time pressures, adversity, disappointment, or opposition. A person with this
competency remains focused, composed, and optimistic in difficult situations and bounces
back from failures or disappointments.5
Building Resilience into the Organization
Possible Threats (Examples)
Possible Rewards (Examples)
NegaƟve judgements, (public)
Being the best in a special
discipline, posiƟve feedback
from others
Not knowing the expectaƟons
of others, people are acƟng
incongruently, ambiguous
Management by objecƟves in
the best sense, clear
communicaƟon concerning
outcomes and deadlines
Narrow mindedness, being
closely observed and
Having enough freedom to
develop the own potenƟal
MeeƟng new people, coping
intercultural situaƟons
Feeling comfortable in wellknown social networks, having
friends at work
Lack of basic values,
inconsistent behavior
Clear rules, sportsmanship
Fig. 6 The SCARF model (David Rock 2009)
But this ideal could be, of course, also a new trap. Thus, it is extremely important
to make clear what the basic psychological needs human beings are. There are
different models. In the last decade, neurobiological concepts have come up with
the following (Fig. 6).
Since the 1970s and 1980s, management theory knows that motivation, satisfaction, and contentment of people depend not only on one’s salary (Maslow,
McGregor). It is challenging but very useful to develop consulting and training
concepts that respect basic human needs and for a company to show it can create a
culture where future-oriented competencies like resilience are combined to satisfy
these basic needs (see also Grawe 2004 for the SCARF model, Rock 2009). The
mental and physical health of the staff is possible and most definitely a huge
competitive advantage. CEOs and/or managing directors can get so much more
commitment and engagement from their staff when they start to seriously respect
people’s needs.
Only one example suffices: In the last three decades, the need to act more
autonomously has grown steadily. It is so obvious that nobody needs a scientific
survey to confirm it. Nevertheless, often people have only the latent feeling that
something runs away. For example, they have been not really asked, or the objective
agreement is more a decree than the result of fair negotiations. It is a managerial task
and challenge to foster basic human needs (here, autonomy, fairness).
In the next chapter, we will show several showcase examples. In Germanspeaking countries, more and more companies are trying to combine financial
success with “happy people” (Haas 2014; see also the concept “corporate happiness”
on the website
K. Kaz
4 Showcases in the German-Speaking Countries
In German-speaking countries, more and more pioneers—often smaller- and
medium-sized companies—are realizing successful businesses in connection with
resilient culture and structures, a healthy work environment embedded in a trusty
corporate culture, and a high-level CSR policy. In this chapter we will present four
short case studies with showcase examples in German-speaking countries.
– Upstalsboom GmbH (hotels and holiday flats, about 700 employees)
– Clean Power GmbH (cleaning company, about 1200 employees)
– DM Drogeriemarkt GmbH & Co. KG (retail store cosmetic/toiletries chain with
3149 stores and more than 50,000 employees in Europe (36,000 in Germany;
6000 in Austria))
– STP (software development for legal branch, 150 employees in Germany)
Editing the Springer publication “CSR und gesunde Führung (CSR and sane
leadership)” (Hänsel and Kaz 2016), my colleague Markus Hänsel and I interviewed
several managing directors and the personnel management from these entities. Here
we present short company portraits on the base of these interviews. The interviews
could be a basis for more systematic empirical research in the future, and for this
purpose we can deduce some working hypotheses.
Upstalsboom GmbH6
Upstalsboom GmbH is a hotel chain with about 700 employees. Most of the hotels
are located on the North and Baltic Sea coast.
We conducted an interview in Hamburg with the Director of Human Resources,
Bernd Gaukler (Gaukler 2016, p. 301 ff), in May 2015. Upstalsboom has become
well known in Germany because the owner and managing director of the company
spent a few months in a monastery contemplating and meditating. From an economic
point of view, the company was on a healthy way, since in a service-oriented branch,
employees are the most important resource. However, surprisingly, a very disappointing employee attitude survey suggested otherwise. The survey confirmed a big
absentee rate, and the young managing director, Bodo Jansen (Jansen 2016), decided
to take a radical step, forging a new and courageous path.
After his monastery stay, Jansen started to implement a basic participation
program. In the last 5 years, the company has changed fundamentally. A new,
anonymous attitude survey has shown that personnel morale (measured employee
satisfaction) has improved 80%. The company spent a lot of money on personnel
training—not only for management but for every employee as well. The employees
could also choose to stay in a monastery (Fig. 7).
Building Resilience into the Organization
Fig. 7 The Upstalsboom value tree
There are two big workshops each year where more than hundred employees (not
only leadership teams) come together to work on their next challenging issue. In the
first year(s), the main issue was the corporate culture and company values. The
so-called Upstalsboom tree was created together. And because it was not a top-down
process with minimal participation, this value tree has strong meaning to the entire
K. Kaz
staff. The truly lived values are fairness, appreciation, trustworthiness and reliability,
openness, loyalty, role model, awareness, trust, responsibility, heartiness, lust for
life, and quality. The key change in the organization has been the trust it has placed
in its people. Some managers left the company because this new culture was too
alien to them. Nonetheless, for now the company is very successful, fast growing,
and has received many awards.
Some key findings in this case are:
– In midsized companies, the owner/managing director can be the key for huge
– Encouraging the staff to engage and participate can be an enormous resource.
– Economic success can be combined with an attractive work environment.
– Wages are higher than average.
– Even difficult issues and phases can be managed much better with flexible,
courageous, and highly motivated staff (organizational resilience).
– Migration is seen as a chance for the company.
– Social projects and engagement are also growing now (building schools in
– CSR has become a natural part of the process and did not have to be implemented
artificially and separately.
Clean Power GmbH
Clean Power GmbH has its head office in Bonn, and it was there that we interviewed
the owner and managing director, Thomas-Michael Baggeler, in April 2015
(Baggeler 2016, p. 205 ff). The slogan of the company is CLEAN—for a better life
in the here and now. Similar to Upstalsboom, the cultural change has depended on the
owner and managing director Thomas-Michael Baggeler. Baggeler started with an
ecological certification already in 1995. Since then sustainability has been a core
value at CLEAN: CO2 reduction and ecological cleansing compounds are making
CLEAN unrivaled. Furthermore, CLEAN has a strong focus on its people: In a
business in which many employees are immigrants, the company has created a special
corporate culture where all these people from different nations have found a (new)
home. Similar to the hotel sector (see Upstalsboom), it is not easy to find good staff to
perform these jobs. Moreover, CLEAN pays wages above industry average. The
managing director prefers quality competition and is fighting against dumping prices.
CLEAN has ethical fundamentals like ecological and social sustainability. Staff
and customers are very much appreciated and there is a focus on facilitating
communication. This is a field where special training is offered within the company.
CLEAN is offering its services in North Rhine-Westphalia, Münster, Bielefeld,
Koblenz, Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich.
Building Resilience into the Organization
Some key findings in this case are:

Midsized company, decisions depending on the owner/managing director.
More traditional leading style, “boss—the good guy.”
Modern ecological approach in the work processes and its usage.
Economic success can be combined with attractive work environment (clothes,
cars, cleansing compounds).
– Wages are higher than branch average.
– Future-oriented concept, immigration is seen as a chance for the company.
– Corporate culture as a core instrument steering the company.
DM Drogeriemarkt GmbH & Co. KG
DM Drogeriemarkt GmbH & Co. KG (retail store cosmetic/toiletries/healthcare and
household products and health food chain with 3149 stores and more than 50,000
employees in Europe (36,000 in Germany; 6000 in Austria)).
DM Drogeriemarkt is headquartered in Karlsruhe. In its branch, DM is Germany’s
largest retailer measured by revenues. DM has stores in Germany, Austria, Hungary,
the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Romania, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. The company has flat hierarchies, and social
commitment ranks high. For founder Götz Werner, well-being of the employees is
more important than the company’s return (Werner 2015).
DM stores can act relatively autonomously. Of course, many processes are
centralized due to cost-effectiveness. But, for example, store staff can take the
initiative and make their shop unique. Nevertheless, competition between the shops
should not be too aggressive.
We conducted an interview with Mike Metzger, who is responsible for staff
development at DM (Metzger 2016, p. 103 ff).
Some key findings in this case are:

“Leading by dialogue” as a principle (Dietz and Kracht 2011)
Strong focus on talent management and personal development
Special apprenticeship programs
Fostering self-reliant behavior
Focus on people (staff and customer)
Responsibility for ecological aspects (value chain)
Supporting social engagement
Important values: transparency, openness, communication
K. Kaz
STP Holding GmbH
We talked with the human resources team leader, Bettina Andrae, in June 2015
(Andrae 2016, p. 113).
STP is a midsized company but one of the biggest software developers for
lawyers in Germany. Their core competence is the development of software solutions and information systems for lawyers, justice administration, and all institutions
that are in contact with legal intermediaries. The firm is also a market leader in the
field of software for voluntary administration, for voluntary administration courts
and quality management systems for lawyers.
This midsized software company has adapted the scrum organization7—not only
for the software development but using it as an organizational principle for the whole
firm. Hence the organization is extremely process-oriented and team-focused. Participation of employees in all fields is the norm. The success of STP is the success of
each employee. Every employee is a qualified and respected member of the STP
community. “There is trust, respect, fostering and integrity” (Andrae 2016, p. 113).
SCRUM means teamwork and a self-reliant staff. Sane leadership means that all
people are feeling satisfied on the job. The art consists in achieving a long-term
balance through repeated give-and-take between company and staff.
STP has implemented pair programming, meaning that a senior and a junior
programmer develop software together. For the corporate culture, it is important that
each new employee’s whole personality fits in the organization—it is not enough
that they might be experts.
STP has received a family award for “Best Work-Life Balance.” Social engagement is growing at STP and there are several ongoing CSR projects at the firm. In the
company a health program with several offerings exists: massage, stress reduction
program, relaxation, etc. Work overload is to be avoided, and on the weekend and
during vacation, working via e-mails and phone calls are exceptions.
Some key findings in this case are:

Midsized company, software developer
Modern leadership
Process-oriented organization, team organization (SCRUM)
Explicit values: trust, respect, fostering, and integrity
Self-reliance, participation
Internal health program
Growing CSR activities
Building Resilience into the Organization
5 High-Level CSR and Organizational Resilience
as an Excellent Competitive Advantage in Highly
Developed Countries: Conclusions
Schneider (2012) has shown the different levels of CSR development in companies. In
our showcase examples, it is surprising that the term CSR or corporate social responsibility is often not mentioned explicitly. Nevertheless it is a fact that these companies
are “living” CSR, and in different ways these companies feel responsible for:

The physical and mental health of their staff
Fostering a work-life balance
The implementation of values that are really lived in the company
Finding solutions to lead people in a respectful manner
A flexible modern organization combined with clear competencies
Positive environment and corporate culture
Intrinsic motivation
Enhanced participation
Supporting self-reliance and autonomous behavior
Fostering diversity and new ideas
Social engagement and ecological sustainability
In all these aspects, we see a combination of growing organizational resilience
and intelligence, a new level of (sane) leadership, and a (even if not explicitly said in
the company) high-level CSR policy.
Hence we can come now to the final and core statement of this chapter: Sane
leadership and organizational resilience are the basis for widespread and
all-embracing CSR.
The findings in these showcases can—and should—be used for further empirical
Andrae, B. (2016). Werteorientierung als Gesundheitsfaktor am Beispiel der STP
Unternehmensgruppe. In M. Hänsel & K. Kaz (Eds.), CSR und gesunde Führung.
Wetteorientierte Unternehmensführung und organisationale Resilienzsteigerung (pp. 113–
118). Heidelberg: Springer.
Baggeler, T.-M. (2016). Gesunde Führung und Mitarbeiterorientierung in der Dienstleistungsbranche –
Das Beispiel der CLEAN SERVICE POWER GmbH. In M. Hänsel & K. Kaz (Hrsg.), CSR und
gesunde Führung. Werteorientierte Unternehmensführung und organisationale Resilienzsteigerung.
Heidelberg: Springer.
Beyer, J., & Haller, H. (2016). Corporate Social Responsibility und Resilienz – Entmystifizierung,
Widerentdeckung und Nutzung eines Lebensprinzips. In M. Hänsel & K. Kaz (Hrsg.), CSR und
gesunde Führung. Werteorientierte Unternehmensführung und organisationale Resilienzsteigerung
(pp. 77–102). Heidelberg: Springer.
K. Kaz
BundesPsychotherapeutenKammer. (2015). BPtK-Studie zur Arbeitsunfähigkeit: Psychische
Erkrankungen und Burnout.
Dietz, K. M., & Kracht, T. (2011). Dialogische Führung: Grundlagen – Praxis – Fallbeispiel: dm
drogerie markt. Frankfurt: Campus.
Folke, C., Carpenter, S. R., Walker, B., Scheffer, M., Chapin, T., & Rockström, J. (2010).
Resilience thinking – Integrating resilience, adaptability and transformability. Ecology and
Society, 15(4), 20.
Gaukler, B. (2016). Auf dem Weg zu glücklichen Mitarbeitern – das Beispiel Upstalsboom. In
M. Hänsel & K. Kaz (Hrsg.), CSR und gesunde Führung. Werteorientierte Unternehmensführung
und organisationale Resilienzsteigerung (pp. 301–319). Heidelberg: Springer.
Grawe, K. (2004). Neuropsychotherapie. Göttingen: Hogrefe Verlag.
Haas, O. (2014). Corpoate Happiness als Führungssystem: Glückliche Menschen leisten gerne
mehr. Berlin: Erich Schmidt-Verlag.
Hänsel, M. (2016). Gesunde Führung als Entwicklungsprozess für Führungskräfte und Organisationen.
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Karl Kaz graduated with a degree in Economics and Business Administration. For several years he worked in projects
on compulsive consumption and consumer autonomy at the
University of Hohenheim (Stuttgart). He then changed to the
business world where he has been editor-in-chief, publishing
director, and managing director in different publishing
houses. In 2013 he started his own business as a consultant,
trainer, and coach, focusing on issues such as sane leadership, organizational resilience, and sustainable development.
CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance
Series Editors: Samuel O. Idowu · René Schmidpeter
René Schmidpeter
Nicholas Capaldi
Samuel O. Idowu
Anika Stürenberg Herrera Editors
Dimensions of
Latest Perspectives from Corporate
Governance, Responsible Finance
and CSR
CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance
Series editors
Samuel O. Idowu, Guildhall Faculty of Business and Law, London Metropolitan
University, London, United Kingdom
René Schmidpeter, Center for Advanced Sustainable Management, Cologne Business
School, Cologne, Germany
Fran: student 1
“Organizational Resilience is the ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, respond and
adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions to survive and prosper” (Denyer, 2017, p. 5;
Kaz, 2019, p. 69). Further, Denyer (2017) states that the perception of organizational resilience
has transformed over time and is either defensive (stopping bad things from happening) or
progressive (making good things happen). The recent outbreak of COVID-19 is a core example
of why organizations need resilience to foster innovation and organizational development amid
the crisis. With the pandemic’s adverse economic, humanitarian, and social effects, professionals
and organizations must learn how to successfully mitigate the issues arising from the
crisis (Annette Towler, 2020).
1. What role, if any, does the concept of resilience play in your research topic?
My Research Topic: The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on Job
Satisfaction and Employee Retention: A Case Study of Kaiser Permanente.
“The last few decades have witnessed a major shift in careers due to delayering, organizational
restructuring, economic globalization and growth of the service sector” (Srivastava & Madan,
2020, p. 44). Undoubtedly, organizational resilience plays a pivotal role in job satisfaction and
employee retention in Kaiser Permanente and across global businesses. According to Srivastava
and Madan (2020), being resilient offers the opportunity to mitigate hardship and challenges by
eliminating negative feelings or reactions.
“In the context of crisis situations, the unique organizational resources reflecting employees’
trust, commitment, control mutuality, and satisfaction could enhance employees’ psychological
ability and belief (that is, competence and self-efficacy) to manage the crisis, as well as increase
voluntary positive communication behaviors such as searching for and forwarding positive
information about the organization (sensemaking and sense giving processes)” (Kim, 2020).
On the other hand, job or career satisfaction depicts an employee’s contentment within an
organization. From an employee’s career standpoint, the effective management of challenging
situations and sustaining (as seen in most healthcare centers) the expected performance rate
illustrate an employee’s resilience at work. An employee must be able to resist adversities even
when the situation seems unfavorable. Thus, organizational resilience offers employees the
chance to contribute to their organization after crises via proactive behaviors, organization
member proficiency, and adaptability (Kim, 2020).
Kim (2020) stated that “employees with enhanced competence, self-efficacy, and voluntary
positive communication behaviors are more likely to support the organization through their
proficiency, to cope with changes (organization member adaptability), and to engage in futuredirected behavior or take self-directed action to initiate changes after a crisis.” Further, resilient
employees will show a specific pattern of problem-solving that makes them able to provide an
optimal contribution to the company (Rahmawati, 2013). In a study, it was revealed that
“organizational resilience influences business performance (in the dimensions of economyfinancial, customers and processes/learning) and job satisfaction (in the dimensions of financial
and personal benefits)” (Beuren et al., 2021).
However, channeling resources to increase employee well-being is crucial to make them resilient
or build resilience because of the relationship between employee well-being and resilience. More
importantly, helping employees relieve psychological stress is critical during a crisis. For
instance, the world has recently witnessed an increase in employee stress levels due to the
unprecedented health issue caused by COVID-19, and healthcare practitioners were particularly
at the receiving end. Thus, providing psychological aid and ensuring employees’ safe and
comfortable work practices is crucial. Consequently, when employees are psychologically sound,
happy, and perceive that the organization they work for is interested in and participates in their
well-being, they feel satisfied with their jobs and thus become more resilient.
2. In your opinion, how significant is resilience building in achieving a suitable CSR and
dependable Corporate Governance?
“Given that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), by definition, is a voluntary activity, there
has been speculation as to how resilient such activities are, particularly in times of economic
constraint” (Harwood et al., 2011, p. 283). While “resilience ethics means a shared ethical
responsibility for our actions and environment, sustainable governance is interested in the
complexity of sustainability and the rise of resilience thinking” (Käyhkö, 2021, p. 1). According
to Knopjes (2020), operational efficiency is pivotal to building resilience in a business.
However, the way societies perceive an organization’s responsibilities has changed drastically.
Organizations are expected to do more in immediately helping people, the environment,
consumers, employees, and investors and are expected to sustain it. Thus, business resilience is
at the core of sustainable, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing
practices (Knopjes, 2020). A crisis also exposes which organizations are most likely to succeed;
firms that usually engage with a wide variety of stakeholders — including those with opposing
interests — are at less risk than others when turbulence hits because considering diverse views of
the future is baked into their decision-making processes (Kaplan, 2020).
Thus, resilience building is significant in achieving a suitable CSR and dependable corporate
governance CG because it results in a more structured and systematic way by developing
effective corporate activities beneficial to an organization and its stakeholders (Denyer, 2017).
3. What is your take on the overall interplay of the three concepts of organizational
resilience building, achieving a suitable CSR, and creating a dependable Corporate Governance?
In retrospect, organizational resilience is crucial to fighting off crisis and staying sustainable
before, during, and after a crisis. Thus, business leaders must balance preventive control, mindful
action, performance optimization, and adaptive innovation that is appropriate and ethical for
employees’ and stakeholders’ support. Without organizational or employee resilience, operational
and performance failures are inevitable.
On the other hand, CSR “involves fair business practices, staff-oriented human resource
management, economical use of natural resources, protection of the climate and environment,
sincere commitment to the local community and also responsibility along the global supply
chain” (Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, n.d). Sustainable development is
interconnected with three issues, which are economic, social, and environmental (Ashley, 2015).
CSR is a moral obligation that helps customers, improves brand perception, supports and
engages employees, and improves innovation and collaboration within a business. Thus,
sustainable CSR delivers economic, social, and environmental benefits. Also, sustainable CSR
goes beyond the profits and goals of an organization but emphasizes benefiting the community.
However, corporate governance underlines how a company is directed, controlled, or governed.
Corporate governance involves practices by which a company is directed by a board of directors
to comply with legal laws, regulations, and risk requirements while meeting business
demands (Kapoor, 2020). The board of directors is charged with seeing to the interest of all
stakeholders connected to the company. Corporate governance fundamentally involves balancing
the interests of a company’s various stakeholders, such as shareholders, financiers, the
government, senior executives, customers, suppliers, and the community (Chen, 2021). It is also
to state that an organization’s crucial board of directors is the major driver of corporate
However, these concepts (Organizational Resilience, Sustainable CSR (SC), and Corporate
Governance CG) are crucial to any organization looking at the current global crisis. While
organizations must take CSR beyond charity offerings by taking measures to positively impact
stakeholders and the environment, ensuring sustainability and long-term strategies are crucial.
While organizational resilience is crucial to support employees, corporate governance that
incorporates environmental awareness, ethical behavior, corporate strategy, compensation, and
risk management is also crucial in overall CSR sustainability. Thus, these concepts should be
used as an integrated model to support employees and other stakeholders, the environment and
community, and achieve any organization’s short- and long-term goals and objectives moving
Annette Towler. (2020, April 12). Organizational Resilience: What is it and Why does it
Matter During a Crisis? CQ Net:
Ashley. (2015, December 10). The Importance of Sustainable Development and Corporate
Social Responsibility. Wolfestone:
Beuren, I. M., Souza, V. S. S., & Theiss, V. (2021). Organizational Resilience, Job Satisfaction,
And Business Performance. International Journal of Productivity And Performance
Management Ahead-of-Print, DOI:10.1108/IJPPM-03-2021-0158.
Chen, J. (2021, July 4). Corporate Governance. Investopedia:
Denyer, D. (2017). Organizational Resilience: A Summary of Academic Evidence, Business
Insights, and New Thinking. BSI and Cranfield School of Management. BSI and Cranfield
School of Management, pp. 5–25.
Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. (n.d). Sustainability and CSR. Federal Ministry
of Labour and Social Affairs:,along%20the%20glob
Harwood, I. A., Harwood, A., & Humby, S. (2011). On the Resilience of Corporate Social
Responsibility. European Management Journal, 29(4), 283–290.
Kaplan, S. (2020, August 20). Why Social Responsibility Produces More Resilient
Organizations. MIT Sloan Management Review:
Kapoor, V. (2020, October 25). Corporate Governance Practices are Important for
Companies. Here are 5 Reasons Why! Robert Kennedy College:
Käyhkö, E. (2021). Resilience Ethics and Sustainable Governance: A Quest for an Inclusive
Society. Developments in Administration, 3: 1–18.
Kim, Y. (2020, July 6). Organizational Resilience And Employee Performance After A
Crisis Situation. Retrieved from Institute for Public Relations:
Knopjes, B. (2020, October 27). Operational Efficiency Is The Key To Building Business
Resilience. Isometrix:
Rahmawati, S. W. (2013). Employee Resiliencies and Job Satisfaction. Journal of Educational,
Health, and Community Psychology, 2(1), 30-36.
Srivastava, S., & Madan, P. (2020). The Relationship Between Resilience And Career
Satisfaction: Trust, Political Skills And Organizational Identification As Moderators. Australian
Journal of Career Development, 29(1), 44-53.
Adee: Student 2
A company’s resilience can be measured by its capacity to adapt to and bounce back from
adversity. Organizational resilience is challenging to quantify since its subtle effects rely on
context. Resilience in the face of adversity is an organization’s capacity to endure and thrive in
the face of gradual and abrupt changes (Kurikka, 2018).
What role, if any, does the concept of resilience play in your research topic?
According to Schneider (2012), widespread and all-encompassing CSR rests on sound
management and organizational resilience. The submission is explainable and applicable in my
research topic, “Evaluation of CSR Impact on Consumer Perception in Nigerian Banking
Bank customers are aware of the idea of CSR. Similarly, it was discovered in the literature study
that Galbreath, (2009) considered the significance and influence of corporate social
responsibility. Consumers are more inclined to patronize a bank that exhibits social
responsibility. As a result, consumers are keen to modify their purchasing habits and show their
support for socially responsible initiatives.
Langley, & Abdallah, (2011) explained that, whether or not it is stated openly in the company, a
developing sense of organizational resilience and intelligence, a new level of (sane) leadership,
and a high-level CSR strategy all contribute to a sense of responsibility among organizations

the well-being of their employees, both mentally and physically;

the promotion of a healthy work-life balance;

the establishment of values that are actually practiced within the organization;

the discovery of methods by which to respectfully lead individuals; and

the development of a modern, adaptable organizational structure paired with crystalclear definitions of roles and responsibilities;

Social involvement and ecological sustainability Positive environment and company
culture Intrinsic motivation;

Increased participation Self-reliance and autonomy Supporting variety and innovative
It can then be concluded that the organization resilience based on the itemized highlighted
above is engenders a suitable CSR which breeds positive perceptions of customers about the
In your opinion how significant is resilience building in achieving a suitable CSR and
dependable Corporate Governance?
Using a variety of strategy theories, we can provide a robust theoretical basis for the
connections between CSR and both types of organizational resilience. We combine stakeholder
theory with a resource-based perspective to stress the importance of stakeholder involvement,
stoked through proactive CSR participation, across the stability and flexibility spectrums of
resilience. We rely on the stakeholder approach to CSR to illustrate that CSR involvement
comprises caring for key stakeholder groups, which in turn develops strong and lasting
relationships between a firm and its stakeholders and o ers the firm significant support, both
tangible and intangible, from its key stakeholders. Resource-based theory, on the other hand,
postulates that such rare and valuable assets (i.e., close relationships with and support from
stakeholders) are a source of competitive advantages that allow businesses to outlast the
competition and persevere through trying times.
Because it promotes deep and lasting relationships between a company and its stakeholders,
high CSR performance may have a beneficial effect on a firm’s stability and flexibility.
Considering the unique circumstances such as COVID-19 pandemic, we conceptualize and use
the most recent data on the crisis experienced firms as a means to empirically demonstrate that
the genuine stakeholder-company bonding sparked by the active participation in CSR will ignite
its usefulness in crisis time and contribute to both dimensions of organizational resilience, a key
capability that aids firms in emerging from the crisis (Schneider et al., 2020).
What is your take on the overall interplay of the three concepts of organizational
resilience building, achieving a suitable CSR, and creating a dependable Corporate
According to Kurikka, (2018), Resilience is the capacity of a social system, an individual, an
organization, or an administrative area to recover quickly from, or even thrive after, being
challenged. Resilience can be understood in two ways: (a) as the capacity of systems and
individuals to return to normalcy in the face of adversity, such as the growth of a forest after a
fire, and (b) as the capacity to adapt to novel, emergent situations without undergoing
fundamental change (e.g. how a forest might adjust to climate change without becoming a
The concept of resilience can be understood as a development of preexisting ideas that
describe the dynamics between organizations and a world that is becoming more volatile and
uncertain. Observed outcomes (such as striving, survival, etc.) result from a ‘fit’ or match
between environmental imperatives and internal designs or structures, as stated by the classical
contingency theory perspective within organizational studies. The environment is modeled as a
catalogue of potential dangers, which can be prioritized in terms of risk and uncertainty via the
development of probabilities and scenarios of risk analysis. Researchers can then zero in on
creating efficient solutions for those specific categories of scenarios. Stakeholder theory, one of
the earliest, most popular, and dominant paradigms used in investigating CSR-related issues,
proposes that CSR activities take into consideration the interest of different stakeholder groups
in addition to shareholders, which would significantly benefit firms in a reciprocal and multilateral
process (Mitchell et al., 1997)
Kurikka, H., Kolehmainen, J., & Sotarauta, M. (2018). Constructing regional resilience in a
knowledge economy crisis: The case of the Nokia-led ICT industry in Tampere. In P.
Benneworth (Ed.) Universities and regional economic development (pp. 163–179). Routledge.
Galbreath J., (2009), Building Corporate Social Responsibility into Strategy, European Business
Review, 21(2), 109-127.
Langley, A., & Abdallah, C. (2011). Templates and turns in qualitative studies of strategy and
management. In D. D. Bergh & D. J. Ketchen (Eds.), Building methodological bridges (Research
Methodology in Strategy and Management, Vol. 6, pp. 201–235). Emerald Group Publishing
Mitchell, R.K.; Bradley, R.A.; Donna, J.W. (1997), Toward a Theory of Stakeholder Identification
and Salience: Defining the Principle of Who and What Really Counts. Acad. Manag., 22, 853.
Schneider, A. (2012). Reifegradmodell CSR – eine Begriffsklärung und –abgrenzung. In A.
Schneider & R. Schmidpeter (Hg.), Corporate social responsibility. Heidelberg: Springer/Gabler.
Schneider, A., Bullinger, B., & Brandl, J. (2020). Resourcing under tensions: How frontline
employees create resources to balance paradoxical tensions. Organization Studies,

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