Technical Papers

Institutional Connectedness in Resilience Planning and Management of Interdependent Infrastructure Systems


The objective of this paper is to propose a framework for characterizing and analyzing institutional connectedness as an emerging property in the human system affecting resilience planning and management in interdependent infrastructure systems (IISs). Three components of institutional connectedness are identified: coordinated actor networks; integrated plans and policies; and congruent values, norms, and cognition. Individual supreme performance alone, however, does not guarantee effective resilience planning and management. This study emphasizes that the three components are mutually connected and influence each other and reveals the significance of institutional connectedness as an underexplored dimension of interdependencies in the coupled sociotechnical systems. The study conceptualizes institutional connectedness as an emerging property of the human system influencing resilience management and planning in IISs and shows it can only be achieved through a coordinated actor network for collaboration and value sharing; integrated plans and policies for collective actions; and congruent values, norms, and cognition schemes for reaching agreed-upon resilience solutions. To illustrate the application of the conceptual framework, the study examined the three components of institutional connectedness through a case study of flood resilience management in Harris County, Texas, and highlights the critical role institutional connectedness plays in resilience planning and management of IISs. The proposed framework provides an integrated and interdisciplinary assessment of institutional connectedness to enable effective resilience management and planning in IISs.