Contemporary business ecosystems are continuously challenged by unexpected disruptive events, which are increasing in their frequency and effects. A critical question is why do some organizations collapse in face of extreme events, while others not? On the other hand, current engineering and socio-technical systems were designed to operate in “mostly stable” situations; sporadic instability and disturbances are at best captured by exception handling mechanisms, focusing on reliability and robustness. Recent and more ambitious design goals, however, aim at building systems that are expected to cope with severe disruptions, and survive or even thrive in a context of volatility and uncertainty. This led to an increasing attention to the concepts of resilience and antifragility. As such, this article introduces the findings of a comprehensive literature survey aimed at shedding light on emerging concepts and approaches to handle disruptions in business ecosystems. Main contributions include a clarification of related concepts, identification and classification of disruption sources and drivers, and extensive lists of strategies and underlying capabilities to cope with disruptions. Related perspectives and approaches developed in multiple knowledge areas are also analysed and synthesized. Finally, a collection of engineered systems implementing promising approaches to increase resilience and antifragility are presented.
- Business ecosystem