A conceptual framework for understanding resilience of construction SMEs to extreme weather events

Gayan Wedawatta (Engineering Systems and Management, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Bingunath Ingirige (Global Disaster Resilience Centre (GDRC), School of Art Design and Architecture, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Publication date: 5 September 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which form a significant portion in many economies, are some of the most vulnerable to the impact of extreme weather events (EWEs). This is of particular importance to the construction industry, as an overarching majority of construction companies are SMEs who account for the majority of employment and income generation within the industry. In the UK, previous research has identified construction SMEs as some of the worst affected by EWEs. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the recent occurrences of EWEs and predictions suggesting increases in both the intensity and frequency of EWEs in the future, improving the resilience of construction SMEs is vital for achieving a resilient construction industry. A conceptual framework is first developed which is then populated and expanded based on empirical evidence. Positioned within a pragmatic research philosophy, case study research strategy was adopted as the overall research strategy in undertaking this investigation.

Findings

Based on the findings of two in-depth case studies of construction SMEs, a framework was developed to represent EWE resilience of construction SMEs, where resilience was seen as a collective effect of vulnerability, coping strategies, and coping capacities of SMEs, characteristics of the EWE and the wider economic climate.

Originality/value

The paper provides an original contribution towards the overarching agenda of the resilience of SMEs, and policy making in the area of EWE risk management by presenting a novel conceptual framework depicting the resilience of medium sized construction companies.

Keywords

Citation

Gayan Wedawatta and Bingunath Ingirige (2016) "A conceptual framework for understanding resilience of construction SMEs to extreme weather events", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 428-443

Download as .RIS

DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-06-2015-0023

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.