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Organisational Resilience

Mental Health in the Working World

The term "organisational resilience" is a collective term for various design principles on an organisational level.

The basic idea behind organisational resilience is that on the level of work organisation there are structures and processes that can be designed. These structures and processes contribute to the organisation being resilient to a dynamic environment. The term "resilient" means maintaining an organisation's functionality or restoring it as rapidly as possible after a disturbance. Various facets of resilience can be differentiated: anticipation, buffering, coping and adaptation, recovery and learning.

Anticipation means foreseeing a possible disturbance. Hence, it takes place before the occurrence of the actual event. Buffering as the alleviation of the effects of a disturbance takes place directly after the disturbance, but before it has developed its full impact. Coping and adaptation refer to the way in which an acutely developed disturbance impact is handled. The term "recovery" designates actions that are intended to restore the functionality of an organisation after a disturbance or fluctuation. The term "learning" stands for the adaptation of the complete organisation or of processes after the abatement of the disturbance impact. The term therefore refers to future disturbances as well.

Current state of knowledge

A scoping review by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) summarises the state of scientific knowledge of organisational resilience and focuses on design principles on an organisational level. The authors present a model that classifies resilient action in different phases. The review then considers the two subject areas "resilience engineering" and "holistic production systems". Finally, the authors link resilience-promoting measures for work design to mental health.

The project "Mental Health in the Working World"

The scoping review on organisational resilience is part of the project "Mental Health in the Working World - determining the current state of scientific evidence". The project assesses mental load factors by means of the state of scientific knowledge.

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