The continuous uncertainty, lack of stability, challenges of the pandemic, geopolitical destruction, and crises are what public and private sector organizations are facing in recent years. We become witnesses of paradoxical situations. We see how some organizations operate successfully in an environment of uncertainties, are able to adapt to the changed circumstances and continue to operate, while others, tired of the daily need to respond to the crises, sink. Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) researcher Dr. Ilona Bartuševičienė shares the results and insights of research on the resilience of Lithuanian public and private sector organizations. There were 434 organizations operating in Lithuania that participated in the study.
How can organizational resilience be measured?
Why do some organizations manage to overcome crises better than others? Is it because my business is successful today, so I can rest assured that success will continue and not worry about the future health of the organization? Research on resilience can help answer these questions, based on the premise that crises are a natural stage in organizational development. So it's important to focus not on how to protect yourself from difficult situations, but to develop skills that help you live with them and use the experience gained as a driving force.
MRU researcher Dr. Bartuševičienė states that resilient organizations are characterized by an internal ability to maintain and recover a dynamically stable state, which allows them to successfully continue their activities after various shocks or to operate effectively in an environment of constant threats. However, in order to fully understand the benefits of resilience, it is important to define exactly what it is and whether it can be measured. Three key areas were chosen to assess the organization's resilience: leadership and culture, networks and the readiness for change (change-ready.)
The study used the “Organizational Resilience Benchmarking Tool,” adapted from New Zealand researchers, to assess the resilience of organizations, monitor progress, compare the strengths and weaknesses of resilience with organizations of a similar size or sector.
Who is Best Prepared for Changes in Lithuania?
"The development of resilience is associated with the organization's readiness for change and continuous learning. This gives the ability to adequately respond to emerging threats, and to turn the acquired experience into a competitive advantage," noted Dr. Bartuševičienė. When assessing an organization's readiness for change and continuous learning possibilities, the best results in Lithuania are in fields of: finance, insurance, information technology, media and telecommunications, and health care services. Retail trade, manufacturing and construction performed slightly worse. By the way, the study showed that the willingness of an organization to engage in continuous learning is related to its age. The younger the organizations, the more inclined they are to increase their knowledge, improve teamwork, and develop a common organizational culture. An evaluation of teamwork revealed that only about 55 percent of employees agree that there is a feeling of teamwork in their organizations. Almost half of employees do not feel part of a team. It is also interesting that 73% of managers are convinced that their organizations operate on the principles of teamwork. This gap shows that managers and employees have different understandings of teamwork or do not think it is important. Unfortunately, a similar tendency can be seen when assessing the available level of knowledge and ability to act during a crisis. More than half of employees say that they do not know how to act in a crisis. These results are alarming because continuous learning and teamwork are critical areas in building organizational resilience.
The research is financed by funds from the European Social Fund No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712, Activity Development of Scientific Competences of Scientists, other Researchers, and Students and financed according to a bilateral agreement between the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT) and the authority implementing the project.