The role of social capital in building organizational resilience.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
Organizational resilience refers to a firm`s capability of coping successfully following disruptions. Resilient firms are also able to improve themselves after the disruptive events. However, implementing coping strategies requires a variety of resources, and firms can become more resource-dependent during and after disruptive events. Despite some studies claiming that social capital in the forms of structural capital, relational capital and cognitive capital can be regarded as resources that can support a firm`s resilience capability, the relationships between the three dimensions of social capital and organizational resilience have not been tested in a post-disaster context. Thus, this study empirically tests the relationships between the three dimensions of social capital and organizational resilience. To achieve this purpose, partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was applied to analyze the survey data collected from 88 large companies that were affected by the 2008 Sichuan (Wenchuan) earthquakes, in China. The results suggest that structural capital plays an important role in building proactive organizational resilience, while relational capital plays an important role in building reactive organizational resilience. In addition, neither proactive nor reactive organizational resilience capability significantly supports business performance. These findings enrich the pool of knowledge of the relationships between social capital and organizational resilience, and provide insights into how to build organizational resilience using social capital as a resource in a post-disaster context. Managerial implications of the study are also offered. However, these results may not be general to all firms affected by the earthquake, given that data was only collected from a small number of companies in the Sichuan province of China.