The 2009 Victorian Bushfires: a multilevel perspective on organizational risk and resilience

Martina K. Linnenluecke, Andrew Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


One of the expected consequences of climate change is an increase in the frequency and intensity of weather extremes such as heat waves, droughts, and large-scale bushfires. The possible escalation in the frequency and magnitude of resulting impacts has led to arguments that future strategies for emergency management should be based on achieving organizational and community resilience. However, relatively little is known about the limits to conventional emergency management approaches and factors leading to resilience. Drawing on the 2009 Victorian Bushfires as an analogue for a "more-severe-than-expected" event likely under a future, changed climate, this article analyzes the limits to emergency management approaches under unfamiliar conditions. Our assessment focuses on three organizations involved in the Victorian Bushfires emergency response. Results show how events that occur with unprecedented severity are well beyond the routine emergency management capacities of emergency organizations. We discuss how the long-term promotion of organizational and societal resilience could be achieved and outline implications for research and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-411
Number of pages26
JournalOrganization and Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • climate change
  • resilience
  • organizations
  • emergency management
  • 2009 Victorian Bushfires
  • weather extremes
  • bushfire
  • Australia
  • Victoria
  • disaster


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