Serving the Vulnerable While Being Vulnerable: Organizing Resilience in a Social Welfare Sector

Minkyung Kim, Melanie Kwestel, Hyunsook Youn, Justine Quow, Marya L. Doerfel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interplay between formal organizing structures and the informal social networks of employees and organizations furthers the resilience of nonprofit organizations that serve the community. This case study draws on qualitative multi-pronged data collected in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey from two faith networks of social welfare organizations serving the vulnerable in Houston, Texas. Results show that hybrid organizing of formal structures and informal networks contributes to organizational and community resilience. By examining both forms of organizing, this article shows how formal structures offer foundational support to the more informal and nimble social networks across the interorganizational partnerships that support the community. As such, this study extends the process orientation toward resilience by documenting how individuals, organizations, and networks expand organizational internal capacities through disaster relief efforts enacted across levels (employee–organization–community).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-300
Number of pages22
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • organizational communication
  • resilience
  • social networks
  • social welfare organizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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