Hayagreeva “Huggy” Rao is the Atholl
McBean Professor of Organizational
Behavior and Human Resources
at Stanford GSB. Heinrich R. Greve
earned a PhD from Stanford GSB
in 1994 and teaches at the INSEAD
business school in Singapore.
The most critical relief efforts after
a disastrous hurricane or earthquake
involve getting food, water, and power to
those in need. But a study by a Stanford
GSB professor suggests that an equally
devastating problem often trails in the
wake of such disasters.
That “silent killer” is a lack of
community cohesiveness, as represented
by the number and diversity of its
voluntary organizations and their
willingness to cooperate. “The real impact
of disasters is cushioned by those,”
says Hayagreeva “Huggy” Rao. “The better
the infrastructure, the better the recovery.
A disaster is a shock. Think of those
organizations as shock absorbers.”
Scholars explore the hallmarks of resilience.
BY MARTIN J. SMITH E r i k