Our focus is not solely on the immediate post-disaster recovery but also the longer term factors that promote resilience in an organisation. The project is funded through the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. It explores and learns from the Christchurch situation in order to improve the future resilience and disaster-handling capabilities of infrastructure organisations and the services that they maintain.

Key organisations, both local and national, are participating in this research as an opportunity to improve the performance of their businesses. They represent areas such as air travel, telecommunications, banking, roading and water/waste services.

Our research team involves a range of specialists from areas such as organisational dynamics, business management, and industrial / organisational psychology. The research looks at the extent to which organisations are able to adapt and learn, while also engaging and supporting staff through a crisis and recovery period.

The outcome will be to develop managerial and organisational practices that best promote resilience. The project will benefit New Zealand infrastructure organisations and other organisations world-wide.

The Research Pathway

The research consists of three elements:

(a)  Research:

In this phase we gather information in two ways;

  • In the first stage we hold one-to-one interviews with around 12 people who served as key organisational leaders through disaster and subsequent recovery
  • Following this, our team offer an on-line survey to a broader section of staff, which assesses critical indicators relevant to performance and resilience
(b)  Participatory Action Research:

We then continue the partnership with each organisation, working together with the organizations to test, refine, and convert our findings into best practices and tools.
We share with each organisation our findings regarding that organisation, as well as what are identified as the most beneficial practices from across the range of organisations studied.
This provides opportunities to benefit from detailed studies of a range of high-performing organisations, as well as developing customised options for enhancing each organisation’s resilience and performance.

(c)  Implementation

We work with the participating end-user organisations to implement the tools and best practices. We also share those findings through professional networks, including industry bodies and professional associations.

View our key findings from this project in our booklet, Building Adaptive Resilience

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