"Vigilant resilience: The possibilities for renewal through preparedness"

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Post-crisis renewal discourse (Ulmeret al. , 2007) is one form of communication that stakeholders may use as they attempt to organize for resilience. The purpose of this paper propose extending Discourse of Renewal Theory to explain how it could enact a different kind of resilience than scholars typically consider. Organizational resilience strategies often focus on the recovery or prevention stages of crisis management. Under conditions of persistent threat, it would be more productive for renewal discourse to emphasize greater preparedness. To illustrate the need for this kind of theorizing, the author analyzes a case study that follows the public relations efforts of Canadian energy company Enbridge, Inc., in the aftermath of the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill. By the criteria of Discourse of Renewal Theory, Enbridge attempted a renewal strategy, but it failed. By other criteria, however, it succeeded: it created the opportunity for richer dialogue among stakeholders about their interdependence and their competing interests. By considering how elements of the resilience process may vary, this paper offers resources for more nuanced theory-building and theory-testing related to organizational and system-level resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-225
JournalCorporate Communications: An International Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


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