Evaluating a "wicked problem": A conceptual framework on seaport resiliency in the event of weather disruptions Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 Elsevier Inc. Seaport infrastructure by virtue of its location can be severely impacted from disruptive adverse weather events. Disruptive adverse events range from long-term changes such as sea level rise caused by climate change to short-term impacts such as hurricanes. This paper proposes a new conceptual framework for evaluating how ports currently strategize against the risks associated with these potential events and how they plan to ensure port resiliency. Resiliency is defined as the port's ability to resume normal operations at pre-disruptive performance levels after a disruptive adverse event. Further, port resiliency also includes a port's ability to maintain normal operations and performance over a long period of disruptive adverse change. Protecting ports from the impact of adverse weather events is a "wicked problem." A wicked problem is one where the planning for adverse events is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. This "wicked problem" context helps port managers to view decisions made on port resiliency in terms of mitigation and minimization of the extent and duration of the negative consequences associated with major disruptions rather than a solution mindset. To achieve this goal, we propose a four step framework: (1) collecting and analyzing historical records on past events, (2) recognizing and managing stakeholders' expectations, (3) developing ever changing resilience strategies, and (4) implementing these strategies with flexibility.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Gharehgozli, A. H., Mileski, J., Adams, A., & von Zharen, W.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Gharehgozli, Amir Hossein||Mileski, Joan||Adams, Alyssa||von Zharen, Wyndylyn

publication date

  • January 2017