Revelations in the Desert: Using Desert Experiences to Survive Economic Disruption

  • Cora M. Barnhart
  • Leslie Turner


In this article, the authors argue that the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land and firms’ confrontations with structural economic changes are both “desert experiences,” sharing four characteristics: stress, disorientation, unknown prognosis, and waiting. Applying each characteristic to the Israelites and to disrupted businesses indicates that structural changes may facilitate financial growth, much like the desert can strengthen faith. The authors study strategies employed in economic crises in light of lessons learned by the Israelites in desert experiences, providing guidance for business leaders facing future economic disruption.