The Commerce and Crossover of Resources: Resource Conservation in the Service of Resilience

Shoshi Chen, Mina Westman, Stevan E. Hobfoll*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Conservation of resources (COR) theory was originally introduced as a framework for understanding and predicting the consequences of major and traumatic stress, but following the work of Hobfoll and Shirom (1993), COR theory has been adopted to understanding and predicting work-related stress and both the stress and resilience that occur within work settings and work culture. COR theory underscores the critical role of resource possession, lack, loss and gain and depicts personal, social and material resources co-travelling in resource caravans, rather than piecemeal. We briefly review the principles of COR theory and integrate it in the crossover model, which provides a key mechanism for multi-person exchange of emotions, experiences and resources. Understanding the impact of resource reservoirs, resource passageways and crossover provides a framework for research and intervention promoting resilience to employees as well as to organizations. It emphasizes that the creation and maintenance of resource caravan passageways promote resource gain climates through resource crossover processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalStress and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2015


  • COR
  • crossover
  • resilience
  • resources
  • stress


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