This paper is motivated by the gap between the extensive academic discussion of industrial resilience and the limited resilience observed in response to large disruptions. Its purpose is to investigate the relationship between the industrial resilience of manufacturing and service operations and the resilience of the supporting financial, legal and political systems. This research identifies the impact of high or low levels of resilience in these supporting systems on the ability of industrial operations to perform as required in disrupted environments.
The authors combine a multi-disciplinary literature review with empirical data from four exploratory case studies. First, the authors review the literature on resilience in the fields of operations management, finance, law and political science to bring the terminology and concepts of these fields closer together. This review also defines the independent variables of the study: financial, legal and political resilience. Second, the authors use the framework from the literature to analyse data from four case studies of operations in difference contexts and sectors.
Industrial resilience is interdisciplinary, nuanced and complex. High levels of industrial resilience require high levels of financial, legal and political resilience. However, the activities required to improve the resilience of these supporting systems are often outside the locus of control of operations managers. Multiple perspectives on resilience must be coordinated to strengthen the response of industrial operations to large disruptions.
As a conceptual and exploratory study, this paper does not utilise quantitative data or in-depth case studies. The authors demonstrate the importance of an interdisciplinary perspective on industrial resilience and provide a theoretical framework that can serve as a foundation to further studies of resilience. The review of the literature provides a glossary of definitions of resilience that improves clarity in this disparate field.
Managers can apply the findings of this work to start cross-functional discussions in their firms that recognise the multiple dimensions of industrial resilience and improve the resilience of the supporting systems. The exploratory case studies provide concrete guidance for how managers in the fields of humanitarian and development operations, healthcare and manufacturing can improve industrial resilience by considering the interaction with the supporting financial, legal and political systems.
This study is the first to provide detailed conceptual discussion and empirical evidence for the interdisciplinary nature of industrial resilience in the context of public sector and non-governmental organisations. Combining evidence from different contexts and sectors demonstrates the broad industrial value of this work.
Glew, R., von Behr, C.-M., Dreesbeimdiek, K., Houiellebecq, E., Schumacher, R., Rama Murthy, S. and Kumar, M. (2022), "The financial, legal and political foundations of industrial resilience", Continuity & Resilience Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/CRR-08-2022-0014
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