Programs, Architecture & Analytics

Prior Organizational Resilience Studies

A look at Prior Organizational Resilience StudiesLarry Mallak, researcher at Texas A&M University surveyed nursing executives in the acute healthcare industry to measure organizational resilience. To enable this, Mallak operationalized three concepts introduced by Weick (1993): bricolage, attitude of wisdom, and virtual role system. With responses from 128 nursing executives, Mallak (1998a) used confirmatory factor analysis to develop six factors as metrics of resilience: Goal-Directed Solution Seeking, Avoidance or Skepticism, Critical Understanding, Role Dependence, Source Resilience, and Access to Resources.

Somers (2007) extended Mallak’s research and applied it to 142 public works organizations. Somers used Mallak’s six factors to measure resilience potential or latent resilience, defined by Somers (2007) as “resilience that is not presently evident or realised” (p. 13). Through this research, Somers used data from a nonprobability sample, which does not involve a random selection, to develop the Organizational Resilience Potential Scale (ORPS). In addition to Mallak’s six factors, Somers also includes measures of decision structure and centralization, connectivity, continuity planning, and agency accreditation in the ORPS. While both studies of Mallak and Somers represent significant theoretical contributions, neither were developed using a random sample and therefore cannot be used as the sole basis for a robust resilience measurement tool.

McManus (2007) and McManus, Seville, Brunsdon, and Vargo (2007) used grounded theory to explore organizational resilience in New Zealand. A qualitative study was conducted using semistructured interviews with 10 case study organizations to assess their resilience qualities. From these case studies, McManus et al. (2008) proposed a definition of organizational resilience as “ . . .a function of an organization’s overall situation awareness, management of keystone vulnerabilities and adaptive capacity in a complex, dynamic and interconnected environment” (p. 82). Through this definition, McManus (2007) hypothesized a model where relative overall resilience (ROR) is composed of three factors (situation awareness, management of keystone vulnerabilities, and adaptive capacity) and also proposed 15 indicators of organizational resilience (five for each factor).

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