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Volume 30, Issue 1

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Friday, 03 May 2013 16:07

Cultural implications of multi-stakeholder resilience building initiatives

Enhancing resilience requires a detailed understanding of the character of organizations. Culture is at the heart of organizational identities; it is part of what characterises organizations and, by association, what brings strength and success. It comprises perceptions of norms and standards and it encapsulates ‘ways’ of doing things largely based upon locations, organizational structures and interpretations of shared experiences. It is built from the aggregation of sub-unit standpoints as well as the interactions between those sub-units. Culture evolves in response to experiences as the perception of what occurred during particular episodes becomes part of the grain of an organization. More often than not, culture is thought of in positive terms, differentiating one organization as better or stronger than another.

When attempting to improve resilience, a ‘start state’ is an important feature in order to fully understand the scale of the task in attaining the desired end state. This is a truism which is equally relevant whether one is dealing with a single small organization or a grouping of states containing hundreds of millions of citizens. In both cases, cultural considerations are of the utmost relevance.