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  • Disruption and resilience: how organisations coped with the Canterbury earthquakes
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Disruption and resilience: how organisations coped with the Canterbury earthquakes

Source(s):  University of Canterbury

This report presents key findings from a study conducted by Resilient Organisations as part of the Economics of Resilient Infrastructure (ERI) project. The research examined how organisations in Canterbury, New Zealand were impacted by a complex series of earthquakes; how they mitigated those disruptions and recovered their productive capacity; and the ways in which they adapted to facilitate continued and, in some cases, improved functioning.

The study examined pre- and post-event behaviours that contributed to the recovery of organisations that were affected by a significant shock.

Some key findings of the report:

- Of all the infrastructure disruption organisations experienced, it was disruption on the roads they felt most keenly. Roads had both the longest duration of reported outages or reduced service and the greatest degree of disruption.

- Organisations experiencing infrastructure disruptions suffered reduced productivity and tended to close for longer.

- Organisations that experienced the greatest impact were also the ones most likely to take the opportunity to invest in new technologies.

- Out of necessity, organisations adapted significantly. Nearly 30 percent entered new market sectors.

- Once an organisation started adapting, it tended to keep adapting – like an adaptive snowball.

- The earthquakes caused a dramatic, yet temporary, reduction in resilience for many organisations in greater Christchurch.

- Maori-focused organisations were more resilient and tended to recover better.

- Organisations with above average resilience were significantly more likely to be able to maintain or improve productivity following the earthquakes. This has important implications for the ability of an economy to rebound in the aftermath of a disruptive event.



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  • Disruption and resilience: how organisations coped with the Canterbury earthquakes
  • Publication date 2014
  • Author(s) Seville, E.; Giovinazzi, S.; Stevenson, J. ; Vargo, J; Brown, C
  • Number of pages 45 p.

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