Extreme events like natural disasters pose a number of threats to the survival and prosperity of businesses. Physical and psychological harm, direct and indirect material damages might warn the viability of an organization and its members. Within this context, this paper investigates entrepreneurs’ resilience to an extreme event – i.e. an earthquake, exploring the impact of its constituting dimensions on the business capacity to bouncing forward a natural disaster. Specifically, this study aims at contributing to the business and management literature on resilience, by responding to the call for more systematic and quantitative studies on organizational resilience in order to better understand its underlying dimensions. Moreover, as the research on the impact of natural disasters on small retail businesses is particularly limited, our paper would contribute in deepening the scientific understanding on the resilience dimensions displayed by small retailers when affected by a natural disaster. In fact, commercial activities play a crucial role in the aftermath of an extreme event, providing support and first-aid and strongly contributing in re-creating a sense of community and normality. Empirical research on organisational resilience in general and on entrepreneurs’ resilience in particular lacks too, apart from a small number of qualitative studies on the topic. In trying to fill these gaps, a survey on a sample of small retailers hit by the 2012 Emilia earthquake happened in Italy was conducted, administering a structured questionnaire: 206 retailers were interviewed and data processed applying structural equation modelling (SEM). The purpose is then to assess if and how the identified dimensions of Resilience – namely: Robustness, Agility and Integrity – affect the capacity of small retailers to recover from a disruptive event. Results show that entrepreneurs’ resilience dimensions are significantly impacting the retailers’ capacity to bounce forward a natural disaster, but while robustness and agility display a positive effect, integrity results to act negatively. Theoretical and managerial implications are derived.
Entrepreneurs' resilience dimensions in an extreme context: bouncing forward a natural disaster / Martinelli, Elisa; Tagliazucchi, Giulia; DE CANIO, Francesca. - (2019). (Intervento presentato al convegno EURAM 2019 tenutosi a Lisbona nel 26-28 Giugno 2019).