Organizational healing: Lived virtuousness amidst organizational crisis

By: Edward H. Powley, Kim S. Cameron

Powley, E., & Cameron, K.S. (2006). Organizational healing: Lived virtuousness amidst organizational crisis. Journal of Management, Spirituality & Religion, 3, 13-33.


This paper examines how organizations heal after major trauma. We introduce the concept of organizational healing, which is different from resilience, adaptation, and hardiness. It refers to the actual work of repairing and mending the collective social fabric of an organization after some threat or shock to its system. Using a qualitative research method, we uncover four themes of organizational healing that reflect an organizations capacity for virtuousness: reinforcing the priority of the individual, fostering high quality connections, strengthening a family culture, and initiating ceremonies and rituals. These themes are supported from narrative accounts of a shooting incident in a mid-western university. Our paper suggests that organizational healing is mediated through virtues such as compassion, care, mutual support, courage, and faith.