Navigating the adaptive cycle: An approach to managing the resilience of social systems

Fath, B.D. ORCID:, Dean, C.A., & Katzmair, H. (2015). Navigating the adaptive cycle: An approach to managing the resilience of social systems. Ecology and Society 20 (2) 10.5751/ES-07467-200224.

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The concept of resilience continues to crescendo since the 1990s, touching on multiple fields with mutiple interpretations and uses. Here, we start from its origins in systems ecology, framing the resilience concept explicitly in the adaptive cycle with the observation that resilient systems are ones that successfully navigate all stages of growth, development, collapse, and reorientation of this cycle. The model is explored in terms of the traps and pathologies that hinder this successful navigation, particularly when applied to socioeconomic organizations and decision-management situations. For example, for continuous function over the adaptive life cycle, a system needs activation energy or resources to grow, followed by adequate structure and complexity to maintain maturity. Implementation of crisis plans may avert collapse, but during catastrophe, the ability to improvise and re-orient will allow the sysem to emerge along a new cycle. We review the capacities, competencies, and cultures needed by these organizations, specifcally, identifying that the needed resources are often cultivated in earlier stages, thus requiring considertion of the entire life cycle for success.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: adaptive cycle; collapse; development; growth; re-orientation; resilience; succession; thresholds
Research Programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
Bibliographic Reference: Ecology and Society; 20(2):24
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:53
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:25

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