Managing recovery and resilience in organizations: The impact of employee competence and development on firm recovery


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This CfP is motivated by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, climate disasters and the war in Ukraine, which have exposed the resilience vulnerabilities of organizations and the need to develop human capital capabilities for strategic viability through resilience (Kuckertz et al., 2020). While management scholars and organizational leaders have been trying to figure out how to build the necessary organizational resilience (Musa & Aifuwa, 2020; Fitriasari, 2020) and have identified regulatory and governance frameworks (deregulatory measures easing firms’ access to stimulus capital - Awan, Kraslawski & Huiskonen, 2018; Pope & Petrova, 2017; Mendy & Rahman, 2020; Lengnick-Hall et al., 2011; Mendy, 2021), these efforts have not translated into employees’ development of their competencies and how this impacts organizational level resilience (Conz & Magnani, 2020). This SI seeks to explore how the recruitment, selection, training and development, and retention of employees can facilitate their competence development so that they can support leaders in developing resilience capabilities at a micro-foundational and multi-level perspective (Raetze et al., 2021).

Therefore, the aim of this CfP is to generate evidence and theory-based research that examines how organizations can find, develop, and retain competent employees to foster organizational resilience. This is particularly important especially after organizations have experienced multi-level financial, political, and socio-cultural challenges that have led to staff shortages following the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing, interlinked global economic crises. While previous research has focused on the impact of personal development (Felin et al., 2012; Teece, 2012; 2007) and coaching and learning (Akdere & Egan, 2020; Bond & Seneque, 2012) on organizational resilience, there has been a lag in investigating how both macro-level management (where employees are given decision-making autonomy over their personal development) and micro-level management (where managers closely monitor, control, and enforce competencies) contribute to the management of employee competence for organizational resilience during crises times. Examining the range of approaches, practices and activities used in managing employees’ personal and competence development at both levels is relevant to organizational resilience today as they could provide additional insights to new methods, tools and measures that contemporary organizations need for their longer-term sustainability and resilience (Akgün, Cemberci & Kircovali, 2023; Lang et al., 2022). 

In addition, previous studies have explored the importance of performance feedback for organizational learning (Ahn, Cho & Cho, 2020), the negative performance impact of pandemics on startup businesses (Mota et al., 2022), and how digital CSR can contribute to organizational resilience (Al-Omoush, Ribeiro-Navarrete & McDowell, 2023). Other research has examined the success factors required for entrepreneurial innovation and resilience (Isensee, Teuteberg & Griese, 2023), while disruptive crises have provided additional platforms for investigating human and organizational resilience (Donelli et al., 2022; Mithani & Kocoglu, 2020). Similarly, there has been extensive research on the impact of High-Performance HR practices (Kehoe &Wright, 2013) on employees’ attitudes, behaviors and retention from a psychological contract perspective (De Vos & Meganck, 2008). However, there is less research on post-crisis management, particularly on how personal development and employee competence can help fill these gaps.


List of topic areas

  • Competent Employee Acquisition and Retention: strategies and practices used by organizations to find and retain competent employees during times of crisis, emphasizing the importance of having skilled and capable individuals to build organizational resilience.
  • Value of Competent Employees for Organizational Resilience: overall value and significance of how their skills, expertise, and dedication contribute to the ability of an organization to withstand and recover from crises, and thereby become resilient.
  • Social Networks and Competent Employee Development: development of social networks within organizations to attract, retain, and develop competent employees. It explores the value of creating strong internal and external connections and networks that foster inter and intra-organizational collaboration, knowledge sharing, and skills’ development.
  • Management Development and Competent Employees: management development in the process of finding and retaining competent employees for organizational resilience. It highlights the significance of investing in the growth and skills’ enhancement of managers to recognize, spot and facilitate the overall competence of the workforce. 
  • Digital and Technological Advancements in Management Development: how digital and advanced technological developments can complement management development efforts in enhancing organizational resilience. It emphasizes leveraging technology to improve training, skills’ development, and knowledge sharing among employees and between employees and managers.
  • Regulatory and Governance Structures and Processes for Competent Employees: role, value, and scope of regulatory and governance structures in supporting the development and retention of competent employees during times of crises. It explores the importance of effective regulations and governance practices and how the implementation of processes can ensure organizational resilience.


Guest Editors

John Mendy,
University of Lincoln, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Lincoln International Business School, UK

Elisa Conz,
Università degli Studi di Pavia, Department of Social and Political Sciences, Italy 

Thomas Rigotti,
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research, Mainz, Germany

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Key Deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 1 January 2024 
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30 June 2024
Closing date for abstract submission: 1 April 2024 
Email for abstract submissions: [email protected]