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Engineering meets institutions: an interdisciplinary approach to the management of resilience

Naderpajouh, Nader, Yu, David J., Aldrich, Daniel P., Linkov, Igor, Matinheikki, Juri
Environment systems & decisions 2018 v.38 no.3 pp. 306-317
case studies, cognition, collective action, engineering, governance, infrastructure, issues and policy, stakeholders
Resilience management stretches across the decoupled domains of community, corporate, and public governance. As a result, fostering resilience needs a governance structure that supports collective actions and integrates fragmented fields with different institutional frameworks. In this study, we carry out a review of three different perspectives on resilience -engineering, social, and organizational- in order to explore resilience management in the context of governance of infrastructure systems. We discuss the common practices to address resilience of engineering systems, the need and current trend for integration of institutions into these practices through formal (e.g., policies and regulations) as well as informal mechanisms (e.g., trust, norms, and shared cognitive structures). To illustrate our theorizing, we provide three illustrative case studies. The cases highlight the barriers and enablers across the three perspectives and highlight the inter-organizational context of management of resilience. We uncovered organizational dynamics such as the necessity of establishing critical functionality through organizational capacity for stakeholder engagement, the need for diverse organizations to address institutional complexity in management of resilience, and the importance of decoupling in aligning the outcomes of resilience management practices with policies. We suggest an agenda for future research on managing practices associated with management of resilience.