The Interplay of Organisational Resilience and Organisational Culture
A Discussion Paper
Keywords:organisational resilience, organisational culture, adaptation, transformation, learning
The literature on organisational resilience (OrgRes) evidences that this phenomenon has experienced increasing attention in recent years. Studies show that understanding of organisations as complex socio-technical systems is important to understanding OrgRes. Often, these studies focus on micro- and macro-perspectives that address individuals as actors in systems. Or they address organisational factors that can be improved (for example, employee training, risk management policies, and operational processes) in order to anticipate and respond to various events. Some of these studies suggest the need for a more holistic perspective that includes formal and informal approaches. Building on these insights, here it is argued that understanding and attention to ‘organisation culture’ provides a lens by which organisations can better prepare for future challenges, especially where contexts of high uncertainty and volatility may prevail. Using the metaphor of an iceberg for organisational culture (OrgCulture), cultivation of resilience within organisations, allows for the embedding of a resilience-based approach into the fabric of organisations, such that it permeates organisational values and principles and informs policies and practices. Such conceptualisation of OrgRes, will enable establishing of deep internal ideologies that effect enduring ‘ways of thinking and doing’ that better prepare organisations for the future.
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