Engineering meets institutions: an interdisciplinary approach to the management of resilience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • RMIT University
  • Purdue University
  • Northeastern University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center


Resilience management stretches across the decoupled domains of community, corporate, and public governance. As a result, fostering resilience needs a governance structure that supports collective actions and integrates fragmented fields with different institutional frameworks. In this study, we carry out a review of three different perspectives on resilience -engineering, social, and organizational- in order to explore resilience management in the context of governance of infrastructure systems. We discuss the common practices to address resilience of engineering systems, the need and current trend for integration of institutions into these practices through formal (e.g., policies and regulations) as well as informal mechanisms (e.g., trust, norms, and shared cognitive structures). To illustrate our theorizing, we provide three illustrative case studies. The cases highlight the barriers and enablers across the three perspectives and highlight the inter-organizational context of management of resilience. We uncovered organizational dynamics such as the necessity of establishing critical functionality through organizational capacity for stakeholder engagement, the need for diverse organizations to address institutional complexity in management of resilience, and the importance of decoupling in aligning the outcomes of resilience management practices with policies. We suggest an agenda for future research on managing practices associated with management of resilience.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-317
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironment Systems and Decisions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Collective action, Communities, Governance, Infrastructure systems, Institutions, Resilience

ID: 28318341