Conceptualising organisational resilience: an investigation into project organising

Organisational resilience is a capability which enables organisations to adjust to perturbation, moderate the effects of risk and uncertainty and take advantage of emergent opportunities. The concept of organisational resilience has in the main been developed and operationalized in relation to permanent and stable organisations. The concept is, however, far less applied to project-based forms of organisation, where the temporary, cross-functional and dispersed nature of delivery teams renders some of these concepts problematic. This paper identifies the challenges in applying the concept of organisational resilience to project organisations by systematically reviewing and relating the lines of literature on organisational resilience and project organising. For example, the temporary nature of project organisations hinders learning and knowledge sharing necessary to ensure a dynamic response to evolving threats and perturbations. Other inherent factors, such as the distributed locations of project personnel, also impede this development. This paper goes on to refine the research necessary to develop the concepts so as they respond to the challenges of project-based working.