A Systems Approach to Crisis Preparedness and Organizational Resilience

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What is Resilience?

The words Resilience and Resiliency come from ecology and physics (see right side bar).

The terms, have, unfortuniately, become buzz words, with extensive, vague common usage. For our purposes, in discussing Organizational Resiliency, we avoid the vague common usage, rather use term based on it's technical formulation as developed by Wildavsky (1988)

Resilience theory and context

Organizational resiliency, as such, is undeveloped both empirically and theoretically. We therefore must draw upon other literatures, in particular:

These literatures serve as context and components:

  • to what degree is organizational resilience a function of the resiliency of individuals within the organization?
  • What is the relationship between individual, ecological, and organizational resiliency?

Definition from Colliers World English Dictionary:

   ecology: the ability of an ecosystem to return to its original state after being disturbed

   physics: the amount of potential energy stored in an elastic material when deformed

from Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary:
  1 :  the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
  2 :  an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

Origin from Online Etymology Dictionary: 1620s, from Latin: resiliens , Present Perfect of resilire: "to rebound, recoil," from re- "back" + salire "to jump, leap" 

[Retrieved January 25, 2011, from Dictionary.com]

Resilience Solutions Group, Arizona State University: What is Resilience?


What is Organizational Resilience?

These literatures also serve as  analogy/metaphor:


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Date Page Created: Apr 13, 2014 Last Page Update: Apr 13, 2014