Processes that enable an effective response to unexpected events and vulnerabilities that lie outside the scope of formal procedures can be described as being resilient. There are many such descriptions of resilience within and across different domains. Comparison and generalisation is difficult because resilience is not a component of a system and should be understood as an emergent property. Here we provide a framework for reasoning about resilience that requires representation of the level of analysis (from the individual to operational), a traceable link from abstract theory to specific observations, resilience mechanisms, and contextual factors. This moves forward an agenda to systematically observe concrete manifestations of resilience within and across domains. We illustrate the application of the framework by considering a case study of the performance of nuclear power plant (NPP) operators in an experimental scenario. This paper focuses on the small team level of analysis. The framework presented here provides the basis for developing concrete measures for improving the resilience of organisations through training, system design, and organisational learning. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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