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Organizational resilience of sport clubs impacted by disasters (2013)

A survey study of 200 community sport organizations in Queensland, Australia explored resilience following a natural disaster (floods and cyclones).

Organizational resilience is “the maintenance of positive adjustment under challenging circumstances such that the organization emerges from those conditions strengthened and more resourceful” (Vogus & Sutcliffe, 2007, p. 3418). Organizational resilience has four main components: - Robustness: “the strength, or the ability of elements, systems, and other units of analysis to withstand a given level of stress or demand without suffering degradation or loss of function” (Bruneau et al. 2003, p. 737) - Redundancy: “the extent to which elements, systems, or other units of analysis exist that are substitutable, i.e., capable of satisfying functional requirements in the event of disruption, degradation, or loss of functionality” (Bruneau et al., 2003, p. 737). - Resourcefulness: “the capacity to identify problems, establish priorities, and mobilize resources when conditions exist that threaten to disrupt some element, system, or other unit of analysis” (Bruneau et al., 2003, p. 737). - Rapidity: “the capacity to meet priorities and achieve goals in a timely manner in order to contain losses and avoid future disruption” (Bruneau et al., 2003, p. 738).

Findings of the study showed... - sport clubs scored highest on rapidity (M = 3.67), followed by robustness (M = 3.61), then resourcefulness (M = 3.47), and redundancy (M = 3.05). - outdoor sport facilities were the most affected asset, followed by the provision of sport programs, club assets and other equipment, and sport equipment. - human resources were the most used resources to recovery from the disaster (including volunteer help), followed by financial resources (internal funds and grant funding from the government).

Overall, sport clubs are highly resilient in the face of disaster, as evidenced by the rapidity of recovery, robustness of their structures and systems, and resourcefulness of the clubs studied.

The authors recommend seeking disaster insurance, writing out HR policies for disaster management so each task is not associated to a person, but rather a position, and building relationships with partners that have similar facilities and resources that could be used in the interim during disaster recovery periods.


Wicker, P., Filo, K., & Cuskelly, G. (2013). Organizational resilience of community sport clubs impacted by natural disasters. Journal of Sport Management, 27(6), 510-525.


#sportecology #disasters #environment #resilience