GREITM researcher's studies, published by Disasters Journal
Disasters often introduce elements of shock that may make pre‐established plans limited or inapplicable to the current situation. Here is when organizations that operate in disaster environments consider improvisation as a resort. However, existing research is reticent on how improvisation relates to pre‐established organizational goals. Our researchers Dr. Bianca Villar and Dr. Francesc Miralles' study on this matter, has been published this past December at DisastersJournal.
Their investigation explores improvisation and how it can be applied by organizations, amid the urgent nature of a disaster. Employing case narratives of three small organizations during the response phase of the 2013 Haiyan Typhoon in the Philippines, this study demonstrates that improvisation can be absorbed as a conscious organizational mechanism and can help in the attainment of pre‐established goals.
Dr. Villar is a social scientist based in Zürich, Switzerland, currently working as a research consultant providing advice to organizations engaged in social and sustainability-driven projects.
During her time at the GREITM research group, she developed her thesis: Architecting Purpose-Driven Improvisation towards Organizational Effectiveness in Extreme Environments: Case Narratives from Organizations during Typhoon Haiyan, a work that awarded her a cum laude Ph.D. in Management. Her doctoral studies were funded by the EU Marie Curie 7th People’s Framework Grant Initial Training Networks, and the resulting investigation obtained on December 3rd, 2018 an excellent qualification.
She believes that businesses must aim beyond profit by helping to resolve societal issues, thus, her field of interests revolves around social processes, environmental projects, social innovation, and gender-based projects, nonetheless focused on striving for meaningful contributions to the creation of spaces that nourish new ideas.
In the future, she attempts to keep advocating for impact among fragile contexts through the use of her social sciences training, seeking the engagement of people for the search for social and environmental solutions.