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What makes conservationists persevere? Resilience strategies at work

Loffeld, Thirza A.C., Black, Simon A., Carter, Marianne, Stirling, Eleanor, Humle, Tatyana (2022) What makes conservationists persevere? Resilience strategies at work. Oryx, 56 (5). pp. 681-690. ISSN 0030-6053. E-ISSN 1365-3008. (doi:10.1017/S0030605322000680) (KAR id:95878)

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Modern day conservation professionals are faced with cognitive and emotionally demanding tasks and a wide range of working conditions, which may include long hours, isolation from friends and family, and high levels of uncertainty, e.g. the socio-political contexts in which organizations and their staff must function. Positive adaptation to professional challenges, here referred to as resilience, can help individuals thrive in their role. In this qualitative study, we explored factors relating to positive and negative psychological states. We interviewed twenty-two individuals with professional experience working in high-biodiversity countries that have limited informational, human and financial resources. We used thematic analysis to identify themes and strategies to promote resilience in the workplace. Results revealed factors associated with positive psychological states included answering an occupational calling, achievements, and recognition and appreciation for work. Organisational policies and administration, especially perceived unfairness regarding salaries, recruitment policies, promotion and professional development, were connected to negative psychological states, as were other factors related to the job context. Respondents shared their professional resilience strategies, such as appreciating the positives and maintaining optimism, aligning work with one’s values, and personal reflection and goal setting. Organisations can play an important role in supporting employees in the process of building resilience by addressing basic needs and factors that are of motivational value.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0030605322000680
Uncontrolled keywords: professional development, human dimension, interdisciplinary, job satisfaction, motivation, self-efficacy, personal agency, unfairness
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Tatyana Humle
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2022 18:28 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 10:42 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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