The development of organizational resilience in the face of extreme events
Mucharraz y Cano, Yvette
MetadataShow full item record
With the research I conducted, I addressed a sustainability problem: organizational disaster resilience. Catastrophic events such as earthquakes affect millions of people worldwide, and disasters will continue to occur. My research was oriented to answer the following question: how can business leaders develop resilience in their organizations in the face of extreme events? I studied the phenomenon from the perspective of the Mexican experience with earthquakes, particularly in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) after the September 19, 2017 earthquake in Mexico City. Business leaders can make a difference due to the influence they have as employers and their access to resources. Existing resilience definitions and conceptual frameworks were compared to empirical research to support the development of organizational disaster resilience. The findings of my research reflect that organizational resilience can be developed through four main dimensions: agents, enablers, place, and chronology. The dimensions are succinctly represented in the proposed model, as well as the outcomes to be expected from the agents, enablers, and the place in which resilience is developed and evolves in a non-linear chronological continuum. This last feature considers the anticipation, coping, and adaptation phases from a disaster described previously in the literature (Duchek, 2020). My research provided novelty in the incorporation of some terms associated with the mentioned organizational resilience dimensions, and in presenting the transdisciplinary perspective from individuals who are located in an emerging economy. The incorporated denominations in the description of resilience agents not found previously in the literature include: the concept of neighborship, the need to address the grieving process in the workplace, the consideration of spirituality as part of the integral perception of employees, and the enhancement of social capital through solidarity and intersectoral partnerships. Similarly, the description of agent leadership provided some new elements to consider, regarding the responsibility leaders have to act humanely, fairly, and ethically to develop resilient organizations. Furthermore, the enablers dimension in the model incorporated the importance of natural, technological and intellectual capitals that seem to be fundamental for the survival and adaptation of organizations to crises and/or extreme events. Additionally, the incorporation of intergenerational education was introduced, as organizations can congregate at the moment individuals from four generations. The preservation of the memory and experience of the older generations to face catastrophes may be valuable when addressing future catastrophes. Also, the concept of prospective transformation was included as part of the resilience enablers to underline the importance of considering the future of the organization while dealing with an emergent crisis. In addition, the ecological view concerning resilience included the concept of place (habitat). The geography of resilience beyond the reference to buildings and equipment (McManus, Seville, Vargo & Brundson, 2008) has not been previously addressed in this way and is referred to the place where leadership occurs (Jackson & Parry, 2018). The importance of adaptive architecture and flexibility in work schemes requires a new lens to transform the status quo, and reduce the tension that SMEs may face in a disaster environment that can be at the expense of entrepreneurs when there is a lack of external support. Finally, the perception of catastrophes as external forces that alter the “normal” organizational life (Lavell & Maskrey, 2014), may be transformed to learn to live or convīvere, as the Latin origin expresses in relation to living with someone or something (Wordsense Dictionary, n.d.)- and not only coexist - with recurrent crises that organizations encounter, and especially SME’s experience practically on a daily basis. My dissertation portfolio included one peer-reviewed journal article, a case study with a teaching note to be used in business schools to discuss how resilience can be developed in organizations, and a second article published in Harvard Business Review (HBR), directed to a practitioners’ audience. The results reflect a comparative analysis I conducted with business leaders to document lessons learned and understand resilience development mechanisms that supported 10 organizations during their recovery from the 19S earthquake. My contributions to the field are both theoretical and empirical. The knowledge co-produced with the research participants is summarized in an organizational resilience development model and expands the literature in the emerging resilience field, and especially in the SMEs body of work in relation to disaster management. My study may lead the way to continue exploring the phenomenon in organizations, adding this discussion to the individual and societal aspects referred to the resilience construct previously studied. Also, through the elective portfolio components, the HBR article and the case study for business schools, my research intends to cover a blind spot in the priorities of practitioners, and more specifically leaders, who may not have previously considered the importance of developing resilience in their organizations in the face of contingencies.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Culver, Eleanor Munnoch (2015-04-17)The Canadian Ski Patrol (CSP) Calgary Zone is one segment of a national volunteer-driven organisation of first-aid providers. In recent years, the number of active patrollers in the CSP Calgary Zone has declined while ...
Melnychuk, Natasha (2013-06-25)The following thesis project investigated whether there is a need for change in organizational culture within the Canadian public sector in order to retain Millennials within the public service. Therefore the purpose of ...
Fox, Tracy Marlene (2015-08-14)Organizational transformation is complex and challenging, as is a leader’s role in that transformation. This thesis examines the role of leadership communication in the success of organizational culture change in one ...