Operating in uncertainty : growing resilient critical infrastructure organizations
Schaefer, Michael L.
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Publicly owned utilities as natural monopolies have historically operated in a relatively controlled environment. As they have become increasingly networked and interdependent with similar enterprises, the level of management complexity has increased dramatically within their operating environment. The leadership skills and worldview of the management of public utilities, based on the Newtonian paradigms of the last century, have not kept pace with these rapidly changing environmental conditions. A gap exists today among leaders of public utilities in understanding that their environment and organization are part of complex adaptive systems and that the implications of operating in a complex environment are substantive. The findings developed through a research process based on written questionnaires and interviews of industry leaders confirmed and expanded the emergent theory of the current situation facing utilities. The findings further support a framework to assess where utilities are today regarding growing resilience into their organization. As utilities' management teams develop a clearer understanding of their current position and the nature of complexity, they can cultivate a strategy using a variety of methods developed in the research to begin the process of adjusting the tacit values, norms and assumptions that comprise the organizational culture to improve resiliency within their enterprise.
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