2018, By Downing, J., Field, M., Ripley, M., Sebstad, J. for Building Capacity for African Agricultural Transformation – USAID Bureau of Food Security. This article by Downing et al. argues that a systems-level analysis of resilience is important to organizational success, drawing on a body of research on systems thinking, and institutional, behavioral, and evolutionary economics.
The paper views systems as dynamic, so actions must be taken to influence the structural and/or behavioral characteristics of an organization to best absorb, adapt, and transform in the face of shocks and stresses.
This article is significant because it offers a system-level analysis of underlying structures that influence the behaviors of an organization – including non-cooperatives – in response to stimuli (like system shocks). They argue that proactivity – systemically and behaviorally – lead to organizational flexibility and the willingness to offer responsible and effective social safety nets contribute substantially to the ability for an organization to weather a shock. Furthermore, it offers a relevant and comprehensive tool to help assess an organization on the proactive-reactive scale.