Capture, governance, and resilience: Strategy implications from the history of Rome

Abraham Carmeli, Gideon D. Markman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organizational resilience is a subject of great interest to management and strategy scholars. Drawing on over 1,000 years of historical data on the Republic of Rome, and focusing primarily on the period of its establishment (509 BC-338 BC), we identify two generic strategies, capture and governance, that together are essential for organizational resilience. Capture strategy relates to market expansions, while governance strategy refers to the capacity of an organization to assimilate, retain, defend, and increase its dominance within annexed markets. The history of Rome also reveals four supporting tactics-saving power, maintaining a stronghold base, isolating and weakening adversaries, and creating forward outposts-that shore up and reinforce the capture and governance strategies, to create a more enduring and resilient enterprise. Interestingly, a system-wide view of the strategy-tactic framework also offers insights on resilience through smallness, thus illustrating its conceptual utility to organizations of all sizes including small enterprises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-341
Number of pages20
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • capture and governance strategies
  • longevity
  • resilience
  • tactics


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