A collaborative and co-ordinated approach to success – how can the rail industry learn from the recent military campaigns (2001–2015) for the development of strategic resilience management leadership?
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AbstractAccording to business and military researchers, the world within which today’s organisations operate is more technologically advanced than a decade ago, with globalisation making businesses and supply chains more interdependent. The impacts of disruptive events are increasingly felt across operational, tactical and strategic operating levels and in some cases, they can cause national and international crises. Simultaneously, organisations are being forced to diversify and innovate to maintain their share of global or local markets, thus importing risk into the daily operating model. These organisations maintain the foundation of society by building the economy; they provide employment, wealth generation, material goods, services and a spirit of community. If a large organisation collapses, invariably the community within which it operates will also feel the impact. It is impossible for any organisation to build a framework to protect it from all disruptive events. Such capability is not possible, no matter the size or resources of the organisation and, therefore, it is also impossible to plan for every eventuality. The skill is having the ability to develop the capability to adaptively think, understand the root causes of the disruptive event and dynamically plan accordingly. This allows the utilisation of the resources, finances and time available to minimise the impact and maximise the opportunity as competitors struggle to recover. This is the concept of Organisational Resilience; delivering a holistic approach to enable an organisation to dynamically respond, recover and grow in the face of disruption. Organisations with a higher level of internal resilience are better poised to mobilise resources, allocate personnel and prioritise key functions, with leadership teams unafraid to make difficult decisions based on intelligence and evidence-based analysis. However, organisations also struggle to fully understand, appreciate and demonstrate the need for resilience until faced with the disruptive event. There is still a limited understanding of how a resilience framework can benefit the bottom line. This thesis is a study of the UK military which, by default, must demonstrate a high level of resilience and the ability to adaptively plan in a dynamically changing and hostile environment, in order to develop a framework to develop and manage organisational resilience.. Research identified that effective leadership, evidence-based decision-making and business intelligence collection and dissemination are critical to success, which informed the development of the Organisational Resilience Management Maturity Model (ORM3). Organisational Resilience in this thesis is defined as a people focussed event, with case studies, interviews and observations of military units in preparation for deployment on operations being used to support this research. These lessons are then applied to the railway industry, in a bid to improve current resilience capabilities. Future work is likely to continue to develop the ORM3 framework, supported through the development of a cross industry learning methodology to continue to build capability. This research has already contributed to the development of resilience within the UK, having been consulted in the development of the UK national standard on resilience (BS65000: Organisational Resilience) and the UK Defence Contribution to Resilience Operations doctrine for government and local councils. It has also been used in the development of tools that can be used by organisations to develop their own awareness and resilience capability.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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