Approaches to measuring resilience and their applicability to small retail business resilience

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The resilience concept has attracted interest across many fields in the recent years. The interdisciplinary nature of the concept has led to the existence of numerous definitions, interpretations and measurement approaches. For this reason, there is no acceptable universal understanding of resilience across disciplines. Even though the concept is conceptualized differently in the small retail business field, scholars seem to commonly relate resilience to the ability of business to adapt to disruptions that threaten existence. However, resilience measuring has been a highly contested aspect in the sector. As such, neither key resilience attributes nor universally applicable criteria for resilience measuring exist in the small retail sector. At the same time, small retail businesses are increasingly exposed to direct and indirect threats that jeopardize their resilience prowess. Therefore, it is vital to develop approaches for assessing resilience levels and monitor changes over time. This paper critically examines current approaches to developing resilience measurement tools. Thereafter, it proposes the most applicable approach for developing performance measures of resilience for use in the small retail business sector. A review of key frameworks for resilience measuring within climate, community, livelihoods, organizational and business sectors was conducted. Frameworks and approaches for resilience measuring that has been in use in the past decade and half were selected. The main focus was on exploring methodological aspects, resilience attributes and variations in the interpretation of the resilience concept within different frameworks. It was revealed that the generic application of frameworks for resilience measuring in the small retail business sector is not appropriate. Thus, there is a need for developing contextualized frameworks to guide resilience measurement in the small retail sector.

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    • Table 1. Existing frameworks/approaches to measuring resilience