An investigation into the role resilience plays in the performance of managers

McCarthy, Frank (2014) An investigation into the role resilience plays in the performance of managers. PhD thesis, Waterford Institute of Technology.

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Abstract

‘An investigation into the role resilience plays in the performance of managers’ This DBA dissertation, comprising a series of four papers, uses an exploratory, mixed methods design to examine the relationship between psychological resilience and performance within a cohort of thirty two (32) male and female managers. The study adopted a cross-disciplinary perspective and recognises that whilst there is an extensive body of research on resilience in the clinical and developmental fields, workplace resilience remains relatively unexplored territory among researchers of business management and management practitioners alike. In this study ‘performance’ is understood to be individual and separate from the concepts of productivity and effectiveness either in a job context or as an indicator of career success. The study assesses self-reported manager ‘performance’ on an individual level and in the context of the ‘behaviours’ that may increase or limit performance together with the manager’s learning experience and the development of resilience qualities within the critical incident process. The primary aims of the study are to improve understanding of the importance of resilience and resilient behaviour in the context of workplace performance and as a consequence advance the introduction of the concept of workplace resilience into business management research and everyday practice. Data collection consisted of the completion of a ‘point in time’ individual resilience assessment measure together with a Critical Incident Technique (CIT) based survey questionnaire which was designed specifically to explicate the significance of the recounted critical incidents and to facilitate the respondents’ demonstration (or otherwise) of resilient behaviour. Both instruments were administered via a single, online survey. Survey responses were assessed for resilience using a specially designed and compiled typology of the dimensions of resilient behaviour with numerical values attributed using a ‘Likert’ type scale. This typology represents one of the unique aspects and contributions of this research. Data analysis revealed thematic content related to personal and professional growth, successful and unsuccessful management of challenges or adversity, lessons learned and positive or negative outcomes. Whilst male participant resilience levels were found to be average for the general population with a mean value of 79.52, female resilience levels were found to be significantly higher at 86.57. No significant relationships were found in either gender between resilience levels and years of practice or educational level. Overall the study supported the inclusion of resilience and resilient behaviour as important components of increased performance in managers. The results demonstrate that higher levels of resilient behaviour are strongly associated with better management of challenges and adversity (critical incidents) whereas lower levels of resilient behaviour are associated with poor management of critical incidents; and that the degree of success with which a participant managed their respective critical incidents directly impacted their performance in the workplace. This new contextual approach, now grounded in participant data, advances a relatively new perspective to conventional management theories regarding performance in the workplace. The study also makes a novel and timely contribution by introducing the construct of workplace resilience into a specific management context.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Manager performance, work resilience
Departments or Groups: *NONE OF THESE*
Divisions: School of Business > Department of Management and Organization
Depositing User: Derek Langford
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 11:11
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2016 10:27
URI: http://repository.wit.ie/id/eprint/2976

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