High-Rise Construction

Organisational Disruption in New Zealand 1998 – 2001

Dr Simon Ewing-Jarvie 2002

This report is a summary of a four year study conducted by the author as part of a successful PhD thesis in human resource management at Massey University, (Palmerston North campus) New Zealand. After several requests for copies to be made available, this May 2014 version has been posted online to assist researchers with early data and findings. Minimal changes to content and format have been made where original information would have confused the reader.
Business continuity planning and crisis management are the main terms used to describe the processes that organisations undertake when faced with disruption. Despite the economic and social importance of maintaining effective commercial activity, most related research has been focussed on civil emergency, natural disaster or accident. There are a limited number of studies into organisational preparedness and no large studies in NZ. In particular, no studies have been found that focus on the human resource elements of organisational disruption.
This research has sought to answer these questions through mail surveys, interviews and subsequent analysis. It has utilised the general style of an established questionnaire from researchers at the University of Southern California’s Centre for Crisis Management to survey 1000 NZ organisations over two consecutive years. In addition, techniques developed in the field of knowledge engineering have been applied to the transcribed interviews conducted with senior executives and these have been developed into the domain layer of a knowledge model.
The findings highlight that NZ organisations are poorly prepared for the complexities of the hazardscape. In addition, the attitudes that prevail are similar to those found in the United States study of 1992. However, some unique findings have also been established. In particular, the influence of Polynesian cultures has influenced some organisations in a fatalistic manner. There are clear divisions of performance between the public and private sector and also within the public sector. NZ executives appear to be very compliance focussed.

The Author
Dr Simon Ewing-Jarvie is a business consultant, writer and speaker (Unclas). As Director of Torquepoint Ltd and Black Swans, he has consulted to many organisational restructures over the last twenty years as well as working as a human resource manager, university lecturer and political advisor to a government minister. He lives in the Wellington region with his wife and youngest daughter.

Publication Details
The author asserts his moral rights to the original intellectual property contained herein.
This report was originally published by Awesome Kiwi NZ Ltd. This re-print is published by the author in electronic format only via his websites and by email request to simon@torquepoint.co.nz.

Organisational Disruption in New Zealand – Summary Report – Reprint May 2014