When Disaster Strikes! An Interdisciplinary Review of Disasters and Their Organizational Consequences

Heath R. Gregg, Simon Lloyd Restubog, Marie Dasborough, Changmeng Xu, Catherine Midel Deen, Yaqing He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Disasters (e.g., natural catastrophes, pandemics/epidemics, mass violence events, and human/technological errors) are becoming increasingly common due to factors such as growing population density and accelerated climate change. Exposure to any type of disaster is damaging for both individuals and organizations. Disasters deprive individuals of their livelihoods, alter how employees perform their work, and harm individual well-being. For organizations, disasters compromise functioning and profitability, often resulting in organizational failure. As a result, there is growing interest in research linking disaster events to the workplace. Based on an analysis of 260 disaster articles, we offer a comprehensive, systematic, interdisciplinary review of the disaster literature with organizational implications. Employing a resource-based perspective, embedded within an ecological systems framework, we suggest that disaster exposure depletes (or prompts investment of) individual, team, and organizational resources and subsequently impacts organizational outcomes. This theoretical framework can be used to identify the critical research gaps that exist in the literature and offers a promising agenda for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1382-1429
Number of pages48
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • disaster
  • ecological systems theory
  • human-made disaster
  • natural disaster
  • pandemics/epidemics
  • resource depletion
  • resource investment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


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