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Taught resilience programmes: a case study from the perspective of employees of a large pharmaceutical company based in the UK

Frances Costello (Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)

Continuity & Resilience Review

ISSN: 2516-7502

Article publication date: 15 September 2020

Issue publication date: 12 October 2020




Research was undertaken to understand whether taught resilience programmes which highlight the protective factors of resilience would impact individual resilience outcomes. The research focussed on specific resilience dimensions, change agility, physical, emotional and mental resilience, purpose in life and recovery; in an attempt to bridge the gap in understanding whether it is possible through taught programmes to improve resilience through the creation of new habits.


The research was conducted using interpretative phenomenological analysis methods and used semi-structured interviews with 12 participants to understand participants lived experience of a one-day personal resilience programme, conducted within a private global manufacturing organisation.


The research found that all 12 participants interviewed 12–18 months post-programme made sustainable habits changes increasing personal resilience levels. Participants built new habits into their everyday lives, in the physical dimension exercising more regularly, taking breaks, changes in nutrition and creating better sleep patterns. Through increased understanding of emotional intelligence participants were able to react more favourably to adverse situations and through mental increased resilience focus achieve work and home priorities. In understanding the change journey participants found that they were able to move more quickly through the change cycle. Almost all participants found understanding their life purpose difficult and were not able to give a conclusive answer to what this might be, they found that attending the programme helped reflection in this dimension.


The paper includes an overview of previous resilience research but differs in its examination of the impact of a specific taught resilience programme in a large private sector organisation using IPA methodology.



The author is grateful to Jeannie Jones and Val Betram from the research organisation for seeking and gaining permission for the research paper and support in recruiting participants to the research and to the participants for devoting time to the process, also to Dr. Penny Cortvriend of the University of Liverpool for her encouragement and to Sarah Moynihan for her endless patience in the proofreading stages.


Costello, F. (2020), "Taught resilience programmes: a case study from the perspective of employees of a large pharmaceutical company based in the UK", Continuity & Resilience Review, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 111-129.



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