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Shipping companies’ resilience: the influence of modularity and response diversity

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Bhaskar, P ORCID: 0000-0002-7549-9120, Cahoon, S ORCID: 0000-0001-5763-8409 and Chen, S-L ORCID: 0000-0002-1513-4365 2019 , 'Shipping companies’ resilience: the influence of modularity and response diversity', paper presented at the 4th Belt and Road Initiative Conference 2019, 1-3 August 2019, Bangkok, Thailand.

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Abstract

The notion of organisational resilience provides a way to conceptualise desirableorganisational performance when a shipping company is confronted by unexpected and unforeseendisruptions to its business. Due to uncertainty and surprise created by complex interactions amongentities that constitute a shipping company and its environment, it may be difficult to foresee, andtherefore prepare the company to withstand, all types of possible disruptions. Literature pertainingto complex adaptive systems (CAS) suggests that the extent of modularity and response diversitypresent in a system may influence the scale of impact of disruption on the system. However, thereis paucity of empirical evidence to suggest how, and if, the concepts of modularity and responsediversity can be applied to shipping companies. Based upon 30 interviews of senior managers ofshipping companies operating in Australia, this study suggests that shipping companies with lessmodularity are more vulnerable to disruptions than those with greater modularity. Similarly, a highresponse diversity means that a shipping company has more choices in the way it responds to adisruption - potentially avoiding or limiting the impact. However, both modularity and responsediversity are contextual; that is, a shipping company may exhibit different levels of modularity andresponse diversity under different circumstances.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Bhaskar, P and Cahoon, S and Chen, S-L
Keywords: organisational resilience, disruptions, shipping companies, modularity, response diversity
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of 4th Belt and Road Initiative Conference 2019
Publisher: ALRT
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