Wednesday 7
Decision-support systems
Pierre Bommel
› 11:30 - 12:30 (1h)
› JOFFRE 1-5
Organisational resilience to climate change effects: Creating a combined learning simulation and research tool
Sebastian Thomas  1@  , Martina Linnenluecke  2@  , Andrew Griffiths  2@  , Kathie Grigg@
1 : The University of Queensland  -  Website
2 : The University of Queensland  -  Website

The concept of resilience – drawn from psychology and developed through the 1960s and 1970s as a critical feature of ecology studies – is now well established in the social-ecological systems literature as a key topic in research on climate change impacts and extreme events. The conceptual frameworks and evidence-based models for fostering resilience that have emerged from the biophysical and social sciences represent valuable resources for policy makers and organisational managers facing episodic and long-term impacts to communities and firms, including extreme weather events, supply chain disruptions, threats to public health, resource scarcity, and demographic shifts. Despite the utility of resilience concepts and frameworks, and their likely importance in a climate changing world, the field of organisation studies has only just begun to explore these topics. There is a need not only for applied resilience research in organisation and development sciences, but effective educational tools to communicate resilience concepts and systems.

This paper presents a framework that draws together existing research on factors that constrain and facilitate organisational resilience in the context of climate change. This framework is used as the foundation of a new digital learning simulation, the Resilience Game. The Resilience Game is a novel tool for building understanding of resilience concepts, and experimenting with strategic decision-making.

The Resilience Game is set in a fictional country with engaging narratives, and is run via a computer interface. Teams of players manage their respective organisations through a period of years to decades (depending on game settings) during which the organisation's facilities, personnel, and other assets are affected by climate change events. The organisations include commercial firms from the resources, energy, agriculture, transport, retail, and service industry sectors, plus government agencies, an indigenous community, and a town council. Each organisation has certain characteristics, based on the IPAT concept (total impact being a product of population, affluence, and technology), and each team makes decisions every year on how they will allocate resources and prioritise investment (for instance through expanding facilities, building the workforce, saving, diversifying, or investing in research and capacity development). Over the years or 'rounds', climate events will have impacts on the firm's facilities and resources; these impacts will be mitigated or exacerbated depending on the strategic choices players have made.

Important outcomes from this research are the development of an education and communication tool that allows players to experience what resilience means and how it can be enacted in organisational practice. Furthermore, the Resilience Game will also serve as a tool for systematically collecting data on decision-making choices. The player's strategic planning acumen is tested and enhanced through situational analysis and decision-making input. Players can experience how changing certain organisational characteristics can change their organisation's resilience over time.


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