Understanding the Resilience of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises to Flood Risk in Ayutthaya, Thailand
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Thailand has experienced several flood events during recent years. The rate of such events is forecast to increase in the future due to the geographic and climatic characteristics of the country. While businesses, in general, are affected by major disruptions from flooding, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are particularly vulnerable as they have limited resources with which to prepare, respond, and recover from flooding, in comparison to their larger counterparts. This dissertation aimed to assess the resilience of SMEs for flood risks, and understand the current measures taken by these organizations to adapt, prevent, and limit the adverse impacts of flooding on their business activities. The research focuses on SMEs in Ayutthaya province, Thailand. The data was collected through mixed methods, using a questionnaire-based survey and two semi-structured interviews, followed by qualitative (qualitative description and cognitive map) and quantitative analysis (specific values, highest and lowest values, and trends over time, proportions, and distributions). The results indicated that SMEs were likely to experience a range of impacts from flood events. Of these, the indirect impacts of flooding were relatively higher and encompassed impacts such as product and service disruptions, travel difficulties for customers and staff, and supply chain disruptions. A majority of SMEs opted for flood coping strategies, including at least one measure of flood protection against the impacts of flooding events. The research also identified a number of key elements that affect the coping capacity of SMEs to flood risks, such as the size of business, previous experience of floods, and the perception of senior management or business owners. The main conclusion of this study is that SMEs are likely to have a lack of coping strategies and adopt various methods of addressing flood risks. However, vulnerability, coping strategies, and coping capacity have to be enhanced, in conjunction with the lessons learned from previous flooding experiences, to address the weaknesses of their organizations in effectively minimizing the potential impacts of future flood risk.