The impact of organizational resilience on the quality of public services: Application of structural equation modeling
Keywords:organizational resilience, public service, impact assessment, structural equation modeling
Research background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, public sector entities encountered extraordinary difficulties in maintaining the delivery of public services. They were ill-equipped to operate in the unpredictable circumstances of the pandemic, causing a significant impact on the accessibility and quality of public services. This scenario also highlighted the importance of the resilience of the public sector, which entails an organization's capacity to function in a crisis setting and uncover opportunities that might not have been evident during normal circumstances.
Purpose of the article: This study aims to assess development trends within public sector resilience and their impact on the quality of public services. As resilience is realized through a three-phase prism - i.e., Planning, Adaptation, and Enhanced Learning - we hypothesize that Adaptation is endogenously interrelated with Planning and positively affects Enhanced Learning, which in turn positively impacts Service Quality.
Methods: Two successive surveys were carried out to examine the links between organizational resilience and Service Quality in the public sector. The first involved interviewing 401 senior managers of the organizations that provide public services in Lithuania to assess their level of organizational resilience. The second survey involved questioning individuals aged 18 and above who had used the services of the previously surveyed organizations. In total, 3,609 public service users were interviewed to gather data on Service Quality. Structural equation modeling was performed to analyze the data collected.
Findings & value added: The results of structural equation modeling revealed that Enhanced Learning positively and significantly affects Service Quality. The findings of this study suggest that the bounce-back stage of organizational resilience, i.e., Adaptation, indirectly affects Service Quality through the bounce-forward stage, i.e., Enhanced Learning. Thus, Enhanced Learning acts both as an accelerator of Service Quality and as a moderator of the effect that other stages of organizational resilience have on Service Quality. The primary contribution of this article is its discovery that Service Quality develops from Enhanced Learning, implying that the optimal approach to service provision is based on both newly acquired knowledge and experience gained during challenging times. This enables organizations to transform their service delivery in response to the realities of changing circumstances, thereby creating opportunities to prepare for future challenges from the standpoint of a new equilibrium.
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