Examining how organizational systems have responded to external jolts (threats, crises, etc.) is a useful precursor to large-scale organizational development projects. The shape of adaptability is introduced as a sensitizing concept for facilitating such analyses. The suggested elements of shape consist of three critical performance levels ( at the time of the jolt;  at the lowest point after any fall off in performance; and  its recovery level), and three time periods ( how long the organization is able to resist a fall off in performance [Resistance];  how long it takes the organization to recover to its original performance level after a fall off [Resilience]; and  how long its recovery level lasts before decaying [Retention]). The success of the FAA's passenger screening system in defending against hijackings is used as a vehicle for discussion.
Britt, David W.
"Analyzing the Shape of Organizational Adaptability in Response to Environmental Jolts,"
Clinical Sociology Review:
1, Article 12.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/csr/vol6/iss1/12