The role of social capital in small business disaster recovery : a multiple case study of Christchurch and Kaikoura businesses.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (2005), between 1994 and 2003 there have been 307 disasters each year culminating in USD $55 billion in economic damages and 53,678 deaths per annum; on average. Although the field of disaster research has advanced considerably since the 1960's, scholarship has not sufficiently examined post-disaster recovery of small-to-medium-sized enterprises. Significant contributions made by small-to-medium-sized enterprises in communities wherein they operate include the manufacture, distribution and/ or sales of products and/ or services; employment opportunities; and the generation of municipal tax revenue. Hence, post-disaster recovery and survival for small-to-medium-sized enterprises is paramount for people and communities.
Post-disaster recovery for small-to-medium-sized enterprises is contingent upon their preparedness levels and response and recovery efforts. Traditional approaches to these contingencies have been through risk management strategies such as insurance and business continuity planning. Less understood is the role played by social capital toward post-disaster recovery efforts. Extant research on this topic is scant. This thesis addresses this gap in the literature by investigating how social capital was leveraged by New Zealand small-to medium-sized enterprises toward their post-disaster recovery efforts after two catastrophic seismic events.
This qualitative multiple case study research employed semi-structured interview questions to collect data from 30 small-to-medium-sized enterprises located within two separate cities on the south island of New Zealand that experienced separate major seismic events in 2011 and 2016. Employing grounded theory methods to analyse the data, findings from this research showed that bridging social capital provided higher levels and more diverse forms of tangible post-disaster assistance to research participants than bonding or linking social capital. Moreover, a gap in the existing bonding, bridging, and linking social capital model was identified while analysing the data.
Under the current bonding, bridging, and linking social capital model; conceptual ambiguity related to bridging social capital exists that implicitly encompasses all resources beyond the distal side of the social capital bridge, including those that are unknown. Further, under the current bonding, bridging, and linking social capital model, resources accessed through bridging social capital are unrecognised as proprietary to other individuals and/ or organisations; as though stand-alone resources. This thesis addresses this theoretical gap tlu·ough the taxonomic development of a social capital typology that exists beyond the distal sides of social capital bridges, refe1Ted to as latent social capital.
Accordingly, latent social capital is defined as a temporal form of social capital between entities that are previously unknown to one another accessed through bonding, bridging and/ or linking social capital. Latent social capital convetis to bonding, bridging or linking social capital or dissolves after the entities that were previously unknown to one another are introduced. The findings from this research address gaps in extant literature regarding how small-to-medium enterprises leverage their social capital toward their post-disaster recovery efforts and the conceptual ambiguity related to bridging social capital.