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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2017

Yan Chang-Richards, Suzanne Wilkinson, Erica Seville and David Brunsdon

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the effects of a major disaster on the management of human resources in the construction sector. It sets out to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the effects of a major disaster on the management of human resources in the construction sector. It sets out to identify the construction skills challenges and the factors that affected skills availability following the 2010/2011 earthquakes in Christchurch. It is hoped that this study will provide insights for on-going reconstruction and future disaster response with respect to the problem of skills shortages.

Design/methodology/approach

A triangulation method was adopted. The quantitative method, namely, a questionnaire survey, was employed to provide a baseline description. Field observations and interviews were used as a follow-up to ascertain issues and potential shortages over time. Three focus groups in the form of research workshops were convened to gain further insight into the feedback and to investigate the validity and applicability of the research findings.

Findings

The earthquakes in Christchurch had compounded the pre-existing skills shortages in the country due to heightened demand from reconstruction. Skills shortages primarily existed in seismic assessment and design for land and structures, certain trades, project management and site supervision. The limited technical capability available nationally, shortage of temporary accommodation to house additional workers, time needed for trainees to become skilled workers, lack of information about reconstruction workloads and lack of operational capacity within construction organisations, were critical constraints to the resourcing of disaster recovery projects.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings contribute to the debate on skills issues in construction. The study provides evidence that contributes to an improved understanding of the industry’s skills vulnerability and emerging issues that would likely exist after a major disaster in a resource-limited country such as New Zealand.

Practical implications

From this research, decision makers and construction organisations can gain a clear direction for improving the construction capacity and capability for on-going reconstruction. Factors that affected the post-earthquake skills availability can be considered by decision makers and construction organisations in their workforce planning for future disaster events. The recommendations will assist them in addressing skills shortages for on-going reconstruction.

Originality/value

Although the study is country-specific, the findings show the nature and scale of skills challenges the construction industry is likely to face following a major disaster, and the potential issues that may compound skills shortages. It provides lessons for other disaster-prone countries where the resource pool is small and a large number of additional workers are needed to undertake reconstruction.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2018

Erica Seville

At some time during its life, every organization will face some form of disruptive crisis. Be it a natural disaster, a reputational crisis, problems within the supply…

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1309

Abstract

Purpose

At some time during its life, every organization will face some form of disruptive crisis. Be it a natural disaster, a reputational crisis, problems within the supply chain, or an issue affecting its people, organizational crises happen more often than we think. In today’s world of change and uncertainty, an organization needs core resilience capabilities to survive. This paper aims to set out three pillars for organizational resilience, identify the questions that leaders need to ask themselves about employee readiness, and offer ten practical ways in which leaders can help their teams to respond effectively in times of disruptive change.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws from a variety of sources of research, including the author’s own that tracked businesses’ rates, speed, and quality of recovery following the 2010/2011 earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Findings

When an organization is put under pressure, it is their people and how they come together that can make or break the organization. The prevailing culture and the behavior and capabilities of leaders can enhance or erode the resilience of all employees.

Originality/value

Resilience is an aspect of organizational life that is becoming ever more critical but research is still scarce. The advice contained in this paper is based on research and offers grounded advice on how leaders can support and enable their teams to survive and thrive in the VUCA world in which organizations now operate.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2010

Charlotte Brown, Mark Milke and Erica Seville

Lifelines (also referred to as critical infrastructure) are referred to here as the essential infrastructure and services that support the life of our community. In a…

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933

Abstract

Purpose

Lifelines (also referred to as critical infrastructure) are referred to here as the essential infrastructure and services that support the life of our community. In a disaster response and recovery situation, provision of Lifelines, is essential. New Zealand has several mechanisms to improve the responses of lifeline service providers in a disaster situation, including pre‐event planning and coordination groups and legislative provisions for timely response in an emergency. Currently, waste management is not formally included in either the coordination process or the legislative provisions for Lifelines. This paper aims to address whether or not waste management should be included in these.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative and semi‐qualitative matrix‐based assessments were used to determine the relative importance of provision of waste management services in a disaster‐recovery situation.

Findings

The paper argues that waste management should be included in Lifeline planning in New Zealand. Organisational complexity in the waste management system and the likely need to expand pre‐disaster waste management services to deal with large amounts of disaster generated waste, however, mean that inclusion in the legislative provisions for Lifeline service providers would be challenging.

Research limitations/implications

The research context is specific to New Zealand; however, the general challenges, principles and overall approach and may be transferable to other jurisdictions.

Practical implications

Organisational and regulatory approaches recommended in this paper, if adopted, will help waste and emergency managers respond and recover more effectively in a disaster situation.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to attempt to examine in detail the importance of waste management on disaster recovery in New Zealand. The findings of the paper are of relevance to countries with similar organisational and legal structures.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Yan Chang, Suzanne Wilkinson, Regan Potangaroa and Erica Seville

There is a need to understand resourcing issues when reconstructing the built environment in a post‐disaster situation. The purpose of this paper is to determine the…

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2916

Abstract

Purpose

There is a need to understand resourcing issues when reconstructing the built environment in a post‐disaster situation. The purpose of this paper is to determine the resourcing difficulties that are likely to face the international practitioners in post‐disaster reconstruction by identifying and comparing the factors that affected resource availability following natural disasters in Indonesia and China respectively.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology included field‐based questionnaire surveys, semi‐structured interviews and observations. A comparative analysis was used to extract similarities and differences with regard to resourcing approaches in Indonesia and China.

Findings

Despite the different resourcing approaches adopted in Indonesia and China in their recovery from large‐scale disasters, there are common issues facing post‐disaster reconstruction stakeholders, including competence of the implementing agencies, capacity of transportation, governance and legislation, and market conditions. Specifically, community‐related housing features played a dominant role in donor‐driven resourcing practice in post‐Indian Ocean tsunami reconstruction in Indonesia, whereas factors related to project control and management primarily contributed to resourcing performance of Chinese reconstruction specialists following the Wenchuan earthquake.

Research limitations/implications

To solve resourcing problems, countries need to create an enabling environment and build institutional capacity. The cross‐cultural comparative analysis encourages policy makers and practitioners to exchange experiences from recent recovery operations.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates the infrastructural and institutional weaknesses that hindered effective resource procurement during post‐disaster reconstruction in Indonesia and China. The research findings show common areas in need of improvement in other disaster prone countries, along with the issues to be addressed in the donor‐led or contractor‐led resourcing practice in the two studied countries.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2013

Yan Chang‐Richards, Suzanne Wilkinson, Regan Potangaroa and Erica Seville

The purpose of this paper is to identify resourcing challenges that face housing rebuild following the 2009 Victorian “Black Saturday” bushfires in Australia and to…

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1071

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify resourcing challenges that face housing rebuild following the 2009 Victorian “Black Saturday” bushfires in Australia and to examine the impacts of resource shortages on longer term community recovery.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology included a longitudinal study which consists of a questionnaire survey, field‐based interviews and observations to track trends evident in the survey.

Findings

A total of 28 months after the bushfires, reconstruction in the worst‐affected area, the Shire of Murrindindi, was proceeding slowly despite the institutions and procedures set up for recovery. This slow reconstruction was due to the unavailability of building resources. Changed Building Standards, increased building markets outside the bushfire zone, lack of economic incentives, combined with home owners’ socio‐economic vulnerabilities, created a chain of impacts on households’ ability to get resources.

Research limitations/implications

The evidence in this paper points to emergent resource issues that impeded recovery progress in the bushfire zone. These issues primarily come from technical decisions on building controls, economic conditions, and risk perceptions of construction professionals. Findings from this longitudinal study will inform the recovery planning of government agencies in future events.

Originality/value

This paper makes the case for a new approach to looking at resourcing problems following a major disaster. This study demonstrates that recovery planning needs to include a resource perspective which explains both impacts of recovery polices on resource availability and impacts of resourcing dynamics on the wider recovery environment.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

Yan Chang, Suzanne Wilkinson, Regan Potangaroa and Erica Seville

The purpose of this paper is to provide a basis for the construction professionals and stakeholders to understand the critical factors influencing resource availability in…

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2550

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a basis for the construction professionals and stakeholders to understand the critical factors influencing resource availability in a post‐disaster situation. The study reported in this paper is part of ongoing research concerned with developing a methodology to improve the outcomes of resource availability for projects in post‐disaster environments. This study attempts to address the following questions: what factors impinge upon the availability of resources in a disaster recovery project and what are the common resource availability determinants across different recovery environments?

Design/methodology/approach

The method of analysis in this investigation is a comparative case study. The researchers took part in disaster field trips to Indonesia, China and Australia during their recovery from natural disasters. By using case studies and a triangulation method, critical factors that affected resource availability in the three examined countries were identified and compared.

Findings

A comparative analysis shows that specific cultural elements, the socio‐economic environment and the political agenda in the three countries influenced their resourcing problems and the solutions they adopted. Despite different resourcing approaches in the three cases, competence of construction professionals, and government response and intervention were identified as common determinants to resourcing disaster recovery projects.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings contribute to the project management methodology to post‐disaster reconstruction.

Practical implications

From this research, decision makers and construction practitioners can have a clearer direction for improving their resourcing effort in a post‐disaster situation. This study provides a basis for the construction professionals and stakeholders to understand the critical factors influencing resource availability in a post‐disaster situation, with a view to enhancing their capability of managing disaster recovery projects.

Social implications

A comparative analysis of three cases provides a multi‐perspective view of the resourcing issues in a post‐disaster situation. As many problems are faced in disaster recovery projects, resource availability intrinsically links to chronic conditions of vulnerability in existence in the broader social system prior to a disaster. The five aspects of resourcing discussed in the paper show the key areas of recovery planning in relation to resource availability.

Originality/value

In large and complex disaster recovery operations, the availability of resources is bound to be limited. Identified resourcing problems are likely to be universal and can be anticipated and pre‐planned for, irrespective of the environment when a disaster happens. The paper provides a basis for the construction professionals and stakeholders to understand the critical factors influencing resource availability in a post‐disaster situation.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2013

Zach R. Whitman, Hlekiwe Kachali, Derek Roger, John Vargo and Erica Seville

The Benchmark Resilience tool (BRT-53) is an organisational-level resilience quantification methodology that assesses behavioural traits and perceptions linked to the…

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1164

Abstract

Purpose

The Benchmark Resilience tool (BRT-53) is an organisational-level resilience quantification methodology that assesses behavioural traits and perceptions linked to the organisation's ability to plan for, respond to and recover from emergencies and crises. The purpose of this paper is to show the development and validation of a short version of the BRT-53.

Design/methodology/approach

Items were drawn from the BRT-53 to create two short-form versions of the tool using two different methods for comparative purposes. The first method involves the selection of items based on the 13 theoretical constructs used in the development of the original tool. This shortened index is called the BRT-13A. The second method derived 13 items from the theoretical constructs using statistical correlations of the items within each construct. This shortened index is called the BRT-13B. The scores from each short-form index were computed into overall resilience scores that were then compared with the overall resilience scores generated from the BRT-53.

Findings

The results of these comparisons found that both the BRT-13A and BRT-13B produced valid and reliably similar results to the BRT-53. The BRT-13B proved to be slightly more valid and reliable than the BRT-13A and is recommended over the BRT-53.

Originality/value

The BRT-13B short-form version allows for the quantification of organisational resilience while significantly decreasing the likelihood of survey fatigue and low response rates with very little sacrifice to survey validity or reliability.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2010

Yan Chang, Suzanne Wilkinson, Erica Seville and Regan Potangaroa

The purpose of this paper is to understand the resourcing issues that concern the provision of resources required for reconstruction projects after a disaster and to…

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4462

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the resourcing issues that concern the provision of resources required for reconstruction projects after a disaster and to enable them to be integrated into a holistic planning process.

Design/methodology/approach

Triangulation methodology is adopted in this paper including both quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative approach, namely statistic analysis with the aid of questionnaires and SPSS is employed to identify the key factors affecting resource availability in post‐disaster reconstruction situations. The qualitative semi‐structured interviews and desk reviews of government and media documents are conducted to further interpret outcomes in the questionnaire session.

Findings

Based on empirical research, the major finding of the paper is that in order to arrive at a resilient and sustainable built environment after a disaster, resourcing efforts should be made around four components – resourcing facilitator: legislation and policy; resourcing implementer: construction industry; resourcing platform: construction market; and resourcing access: transportation system.

Originality/value

The original part of this paper is in raising the importance of resourcing for achieving a resilient post‐disaster built environment, and in presenting a thorough overhaul of the resourcing components. The paper also offers a vision of comprehensive planning and preparedness to facilitate resourcing operations in post‐disaster reconstruction; pinpoints possible constraints inherent in post‐disaster resourcing environment; and provides a direction‐setting framework to achieve the vision with built environment resilience considerations incorporated.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 24 February 2012

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288

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

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72

Abstract

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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