Organizational networks and recovery following the Canterbury earthquakes

Joanne Stevenson,  Y. Chang-Richards, D. Conradson, S. Wilkinson, John Vargo, Erica Seville, D. Brunsdon
Earthquake Spectra, Volume 30, No. 1, pages 555–575, February 2014


Following a disaster, the recovery of organizations is influenced by the flow of resources and information through organizational networks. The 2010–2011 earthquakes in Canterbury, New Zealand, had major direct and indirect impacts on local organizations and the regional economy. This paper utilizes 47 organizational case studies to assess the role of organizations’ networks in their response and short-term recovery activities, and to explore the effects of networks on regional reconstruction and related sectors. The results are organized around four thematic analyses, focusing on organizations’ support network characteristics, the types of support mobilized to aid recovery, network adaptations for new post-quake demands, and the economic impacts of organizational networks in reconstruction. The paper discusses how organizations managed and utilized networks to reduce the impacts of the earthquakes and to adapt to altered post-quake environments. These empirical observations of post-quake organizational behavior can also inform regional economic impact and resilience modeling.

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