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Developing Organisational Resilience to Fundamental Crises: Evaluating Social Media as a Key Enabler for Resource Bricolage within Retail micro-SMEs / Dafydd Cotterell

Swansea University Author: Dafydd Cotterell

  • E-Thesis – open access under embargo until: 26th March 2026

DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUthesis.66294

Abstract

Recent years have presented the UK economy with a series of fundamental crisis events, fostering complex challenges for UK businesses. These crisis events continue to test the adaptive capacity of businesses and have impeded the continuity of trade within several UK sectors. Such crisis events have...

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Published: Swansea, Wales, UK 2024
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
Supervisor: Jones, Paul ; Huxtable-Thomas, Louisa ; Bowen, Robert
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa66294
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Abstract: Recent years have presented the UK economy with a series of fundamental crisis events, fostering complex challenges for UK businesses. These crisis events continue to test the adaptive capacity of businesses and have impeded the continuity of trade within several UK sectors. Such crisis events have had particularly sobering effects for the UK retail sector, and more specifically retail micro-SMEs. This research evaluates the experiences of retail micro-SMEs across the trans-crisis phase of the Covid-19 crisis, evaluating the role of effective social media use as an enabler for resource bricolage. Resource bricolage receives much precedent within crisis literature as an effective vector of organisational resilience in the face of crisis, however little is known regarding the key enablers of the bricolage process. With social media’s well documented ability to support positive commercial outcomes within business functions such as marketing, internationalisation, and innovation, it is logical to consider its role as an enabler of resilience. This study used a qualitative methodology where a semi-structured interview was applied as the research instrument. Overall, 20 interviews were conducted of which all participants were owner managers of retail micro-SMEs. The data collected was analysed using Reflexive Thematic Analysis, where prevalent themes were identified within the data. The study found that social media did indeed enable resource bricolage, where resource bricolage was an effective activity for developing resilience. Furthermore, the research identified that the degree of social media use, business experience and externally derived crisis forces all significantly contributed to the resilience of retail micro-SMEs. In addition to these three factors, the role of support mechanisms was also identified as a determining factor for businesses. These four factors cumulatively interceded the resilience of retail micro-SMEs, were businesses could be classified into one of three resilience categories. These three categories included businesses that failed, survived and thrived as a result of the crisis.
Keywords: Crisis Management, Organisational Resilience, Small Business, Retail, Covid-19
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences