Conceptualising adaptive resilience using grounded theory

Conceptualising adaptive resilience using grounded theory

V. Nilakant, B. Walker, K. van Heugten, R. Baird and H. de Vries

New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 39(1): 79-86 (2014)


We present the initial findings from a study of adaptive resilience of lifelines organisations providing essential infrastructure services, in Christchurch, New Zealand following the earthquakes of2010-2011.Qualitative empirical data was collected from 200 individuals in 11 organisations. Analysis using a grounded theory method identified four major factors that aid organisational response, recovery and renewal following major disruptive events. Our data suggest that quality of top and middle-level leadership, quality of external linkages, level of internal collaboration, ability to learn from experience, and staff well-being and engagement influence adaptive resilience. Our data also suggest that adaptive resilience is a process or capacity, not an outcome and that it is contextual. Post-disaster capacity/resources and post-disaster environment influence the nature of adaptive resilience.

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