Dimensions of small unit resilience in organizations facing threats, disruption, and stress
Powley, Edward H.
Lopes, John F.
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When service men and women deploy into a theater of operation, they encounter a sustained series of stressors unlike any they would encounter elsewhere. To mitigate the cumulative effect of these stressors on their units and individuals, leaders and unit members must be able to assist one another to effectively cope under stressful conditions. We believe that resilience and coping strategies improve the effectiveness and sustainability for those in service. The central purpose of this project is to examine the factors of small unit organizational resilience. Assessments such as these intend to inform how leaders might build, foster, and sustain resiliency in their organizations. Resilience is defined as the capacity for adaptability, positive functioning, or competence following chronic stress or prolonged trauma (Sutcliffe & Vogus, 2003, p. 96). Put simply, it allows an individual or organization to draw on internal and external resources to positively adjust to current adversities and strengthens their ability to cope with future setbacks. We offer four core domains of resilience that units may use to assess their ability to deal with operational stress: concerted leadership, adequate resources, enhancement of organizational learning, and flexibility and adaptability in the face of adversity.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
NPS Report NumberNPS-GSBPP-11-006
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