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Title: Resilience of construction SMEs to extreme weather events
Author: Wedawatta, H. G.
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2013
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Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), which form a significant section in many economies, are some of the worst impacted by the Extreme Weather Events (EWEs) and are considered to be the most vulnerable section of the UK economy to the impact of extreme weather. This is of particular importance to the construction industry, as an overarching majority of construction companies are SMEs who account for the majority of employment and income generation within the industry. Whilst construction has been perceived as a sector significantly vulnerable to the impacts of EWEs, the issues with regard to resilience of construction SMEs to EWEs have only been subjected to limited in-depth academic research. This study was developed to identify the growing need for improving the resilience of construction SMEs and sought to undertake an in-depth investigation of the issues. Positioned within a pragmatic research philosophy, case study research strategy was adopted as the overall research strategy in undertaking this investigation. A mixed method research choice consisting of an exploratory questionnaire survey of SMEs and in-depth interviews of case study SMEs were employed to investigate the research questions which arose. The findings of the exploratory questionnaire survey indicated a lack of coping strategies among the construction SMEs studied. However, the in-depth case studies revealed that construction SMEs with significant previous EWE experience have, indeed, developed various strategies to address the risk of EWEs. A theoretical framework was developed to represent the resilience of construction SMEs to EWEs, informed by the findings of the study, where resilience was seen as a collective effect of vulnerability, coping strategies and coping capacities of SMEs, characteristics of the EWE and the wider economic climate. The study provides an original contribution towards the overarching agenda of the resilience of SMEs and policy making in the area of EWE risk management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Built and Human Environment