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Social Capital, Sense-Making and Recovery from Disaster: Japanese Companies and the March 2011 Earthquake

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    Rights statement: © Olcott, G., & Oliver, N. (2014). Social Capital, Sense-Making and Recovery from Disaster: Japanese Companies and the March 2011 Earthquake. California Management Review,56(2), 5-22. 10.1525/cmr.2014.56.2.5

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages17
JournalCalifornia Management Review
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Abstract

The earthquake that hit East Japan in March 2011 caused massive damage, yet despite predictions of widespread disruption to global supply chains, production resumed with remarkable speed. We describe how resources from throughout the networks of stricken companies were mobilized and deployed, enabling rapid restoration of production. We use concepts of social capital and sense-making to explain the speed of recovery. Social capital facilitated rapid mobilization and strategies to build shared mental models permitted effective coordination under complex and evolving conditions. Our findings show that the ability to both mobilize and focus resources is crucial to rapid recovery.

Research areas

  • Supply chain, Japan, risk management, automobile industry, operations management

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