Analysing a Resilience Development Program: who benefits?

  • Jonathon Heather University of Tasmania
  • Elizabeth Shannon University of Tasmania
  • Sue Pearson University of Tasmania
Keywords: resilience; human resource development; change management; health and human services; leadership development


Objective: This article presents findings from an analysis of resilience and resilience development. 

Design: Convergent, mixed-methods research used an online survey to gather data from participants in a resilience development program, in combination with a small number of semi-structured interviews with managers. 

Setting: The research was carried out on public sector health and human services managers and staff, during a time of ‘downsizing’ and organisational restructuring. 

Main outcome measures: The Wagnild Resilience Scale was used to measure resilience levels and their association to respondent demographic, educational and professional groupings. 

Results: Interviews with senior managers found a consensus of opinion that resilience was important; and the resilience development program either had, or potentially had, benefits for their workforce. Perceptions about exactly who would benefit differed between senior managers and participants in the program. Participant survey results indicated that respondent characteristics (age, occupational group, highest level of education and departmental role) were associated with differing levels of resilience. 

Conclusions: This study found that resilience development may benefit two groups of employees in particular: non-nursing staff under 50 years of age, and managers. These findings add to the body of knowledge associated with staff resilience development, organisational change management and organisational learning. These results inform health service manager practice by suggesting potential target groups for resilience development. 

Author Biographies

Jonathon Heather, University of Tasmania

School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Elizabeth Shannon, University of Tasmania

School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Sue Pearson, University of Tasmania

School of Medicine, University of Tasmania
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

How to Cite
Heather, J., Shannon, E., & Pearson, S. (2019). Analysing a Resilience Development Program: who benefits?. Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, 14(2), 31-39.
Research Articles