PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to gain an understanding of resiliency management within a turbulent globally integrated economic network.
PROBLEM INVESTIGATED: The South African economy functions as an integrated component of the global economic network, one that is highly competitive and extremely turbulent in nature. The current subprime initiated economic meltdown and the impact thereof on South African government, business and industry institutions serves as a case in point. The question posed is one of how best to manage institutional resiliency within such a complex environment.
METHODOLOGY: A literature study is undertaken and a narrative enquiry conducted by means of open ended discussions with fourteen South African managers on an individual basis to determine the impact of the economic meltdown on South African organisations and the nature of resiliency management in response thereto. The approach adopted is intentionally analytical-descriptive in nature. The narrative enquiry constituted open ended discussions with managers in order to learn from their personal experience in resiliency management. In view of the sensitive nature of the discussions and to get a more reliable reflection of the true situation that exists they were conducted on a basis of anonymity.
FINDINGS: An important conclusion drawn from the study is that the culture and climate of the institution play a very fundamental role in resiliency management. Nurturing a culture of “resiliency awareness’” is deemed to be a vital aspect in dealing with the emergent consequences of sudden, unexpected and unpredictable events such as the subprime economic meltdown.
VALUE OF RESEARCH: Seen within the context of a prevailing highly turbulent and unpredictable globally networked economy, the insights gained from the study could assist executives and managers in exploring alternative means of engendering institutional resiliency.
CONCLUSION: Resiliency management embodies both a proactive and a reactive approach, each of which inherently have organisational culture and climate implications. The nurturing of a culture of “resiliency awareness” is found to be a vital ingredient in managing institutional resiliency in the face of unprecedented, unexpected and unforeseen events that have a significant impact on the institution and its operational activities.