Building organisational resilience: A summary of key research findings

Erica Seville, David Brunsdon, Andre Dantas, Jason Le Masurier, Suzanne Wilkinson, John Vargo

Resilient Organisations Research Report 2006/04


This paper presents findings from a six-year research programme underway in New Zealand to develop strategies for improving the resilience of organisations to major crisis events. The research takes a systems view of organisations, recognising that there are multiple interdependencies within and between different organisations that influence their abilities to respond and recover. This means that effective resilience management for any one organisation must look beyond that single organisation and consider the resilience of other organisations that it depends on. Particular aspects of organisational resilience focused on by the research team include: how individual organisations are positioned to respond and recover from major crises; their ability to communicate and share information in order to direct resources effectively during crises; and the legal and contractual frameworks within which they will need to operate during crisis response and recovery. None of these issues can be resolved by a single organisation acting unilaterally. Organisations are required to work together towards system resilience.

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