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Building Resilience for a Future Organisation

aLoughborough University, UK

Corporate Resilience

ISBN: 978-1-83753-783-9, eISBN: 978-1-83753-782-2

Publication date: 13 September 2023


This chapter examines the key issues around organisational resilience – what it means for organisations, and the key elements they need to consider if they are looking to increase the ability of their operations to withstand challenges in their environment. Organisations have always had to adapt to changes in their environment, whether as a result of market-based, political, regulatory or technological developments. However, the pace of change and the number and frequency of external shocks, such as the global financial crisis, the COVID-19 epidemic, war and increasing nationalism, inflation, labour shortages, cyber-security threats and environmental crises have increased over recent years. Whilst some of these events could have been foreseen, in that they emerge relatively slowly, such as increasing nationalism, other crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic could not have been readily anticipated, both for the speed at which it occurred, but the significant impact it had on people and organisations. Clearly, many of these events can have severe consequences not only for society but also for organisations, potentially threatening their survival. Hence organisations are increasingly recognising the need to be both more aware of potential threats or even opportunities by constantly monitoring their environment, but also creating contingency or mitigation plans to become more resilient to such change and shocks. By becoming more aware of changes in their environment and incorporating risk evaluations and mitigation plans into strategy and regular business planning cycles, organisations can become more adaptive and agile to respond more quickly and robustly to such events. Whilst it is not possible to fully mitigate all risks to the organisation, increased resilience can reduce the severity or longevity of negative impacts or support the organisation to seek opportunities from change.

This chapter introduces the concept of overall organisational resilience, and then discusses some more functional areas of resilience: operational, financial, technological, reputational and institutional. The chapter concludes with a consideration of the effects of building greater organisational resilience and what organisations should consider when evaluating where to start on such a journey.



Conway, E. and Johal, P. (2023), "Building Resilience for a Future Organisation", Seifi, S. and Crowther, D. (Ed.) Corporate Resilience (Developments in Corporate Governance and Responsibility, Vol. 21), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 53-72.



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