A systems analysis of preventative measures and attributes of a resilient enterprise

Tariq, H 2017, A systems analysis of preventative measures and attributes of a resilient enterprise , MPhil thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak of 2014 had a considerable socioeconomic impact on the affected West African countries. The extractive sector plays a key role in these economies in providing employment opportunities, tax revenue and contributions to gross domestic product (GDP) with some mining firms having to suspend operations and even shutdown during the epidemic. The study looks at a case study of a mining firm that continued operating during the period despite other firms stopping production. Recent literature has suggested a larger role for the private sector in addressing disaster risk reduction and economic resilience has a strong contribution to the resilience of the overall community.

The study has followed a systems thinking approach to understand the impact of the EVD outbreak on the firm. The study used qualitative methods to understand the sequence of events and channels of impact of the outbreak on the firm, as perceived by its employees and contractors. A total of 16 in-depth interviews, 2 focus group discussions, 2 group model building sessions and a final validation workshop were conducted to identify what key employees understood as impacts on the firm and if the attributes of a resilient enterprise were present in the case firm. Informed by the qualitative analysis and the quantitative data provided by the firm, the study estimated the actual cost of the preventative measures (both internal and external) that the firm had adopted during the outbreak period. Additionally, the study has also developed a conceptual simulation model of senior management’s perceptions (mental model) of operational resilience of a mining firm in the face of shocks such as the 2014 EVD outbreak.

The research identified the presence of systems for early detection, redundancy in human resource use and to some extent supply chains, flexibility in management and a corporate culture that took new emerging threats to its operations seriously. This resulted in the firm taking well thought out preventative measures that contirubted to its resileince and resulted in continued operations. The economic cost of the preventive measures as incurred by the firm was estimated to be between $10.58-11.11 million. The magnitude of actual costs incurred by the firm largely conforms to the perceived costs impact identified by the respondents in the qualitative study. A breakdown of the costs indicated that most of the money was spent on measures within the firm’s compound, or "in fence", in the built environment rather than outside its perimeter, or "out of fence", on the community which indicates a response based approach rather than a pro-active approach to the disaster.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments (UPRISE)
Depositing User: H Tariq
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2018 09:39
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2018 09:39
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/43512

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