Environmental Shocks, Collaborative Networking, and Organizational Performance:Evidence from Hurricane Rita
The literature has found that there is a link between an organization's environment and its performance. Some organizational theorists argue that management plays only a marginal role in this link. The present study objects to this argument. The literature on public management has observed that stability in an administrative system and collaborative networking with external actors can manage environmental influences. In an emergency context, public management literature has given more emphasis on collaborative networking than stability due to the need for timely application. Focusing on the role of collaborative networking in the environmentperformance link in an emergency context, this study examined the negative influences of Hurricane Rita on organizational performance. Furthermore, this study investigated how collaborative networking with emergency-relevant actors moderates the negative relationship. From Texas school district data, it was found that days of school closure due to Hurricane Rita (environmental shocks) lowered the overall students' academic achievement (organizational performance), but superintendents' regular meetings with external actors in preparation for emergencies (collaborative networking) moderated the decrease in students' academic performance. The findings of this study support the proposition that management matters to organizational performance.