Analysis of the Strategic Nature: The Bam Housing Reconstruction Organisation

  • Fatemeh Farnaz ArefianEmail author
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


Theoretical discussions in Part I characterised reconstruction programmes as the strategic physical agent for facilitating a multidimensional developmental recovery that pursues their objectives. Organisation theory suggests that approaching objectives requires strategic thinking on ‘how’ to approach objectives in addition to ‘what’ should be achieved. In essence vertical cascading and horizontal convergence, as well as objective setting are crucial. This chapter analyses how the intrinsic strategic nature of the programme, in form of introduction of the three objectives and ways of approaching them, influenced the way the programme was implemented; how the performed against each objective; and its related potential contributors to that performance, as well as potential longer-term effects. Performance towards the objective of safeguarding the historical urban identity relatively shows underachievement with a compromise on architectural criteria during the implementation. Building earthquake-resistant buildings included tougher control mechanisms and improved supervisory services that also became part of the mainstream after the post-reconstruction housing development process. Interestingly, the case shows the local knowledge on structural aspects of safe construction improved. As an owner-driven programme, the beneficiaries’ role ultimately equated people’s role in a housing development procedure in normal situations, overarched by the broader administrative and sociopolitical context of the country. The case demonstrates some interesting signs of objective-oriented organisational configuration and creative problem-solving. However, there were also gaps in the full application of strategic thinking. Learning opportunities draw on both strengths and lessons learned and graphical illustrations analyse the essence strategic thinking for reconstruction activities.


  1. Adair J (2008) The best of John Adair on leadership and management. Thorogood Publishing, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Ansoff H (1990) Implanting strategic management, 2nd ed. Prentice Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Arefian FF (2016) Getting ready for urban reconstruction: organising housing reconstruction in Bam. In: Arefian FF, Moeini SHI (eds) Urban change in Iran: stories of rooted histories and ever-accelerating developments. The urban book series. Springer International Publishing, Cham, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London, pp 231–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Armanshahr Consultancy Company (2004) Special structural and strategic plan for Bam (Unpublished urban development project document). MHUD, Tehran (in Persian)Google Scholar
  5. Armstrong M (2009) Armstrong’s handbook of management and leadership: a guide to managing for results, 2nd edn. KoganGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonabeau E (2007) Understanding and managing complexity risk. MIT Sloan Manage Rev 48Google Scholar
  7. Chartered Management Institute (CMI) (n.d.) Setting SMART objectives, checklist 231. for CMI members. Accessed 14 Feb 2011
  8. Davidson C (2009) Multi-actor arrangements and project management. In: Lizarralde G, Johnson C, Davidson C (eds) Rebuilding after disasters: from emergency to sustainability. Spon Press, London, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Davis I (2007) Learning from disaster recovery; guidance for decision makers. International Recovery Platform (IRP). Accessed 17 Nov 2010
  10. Gharaati Kopaei M (2009) Knowledge transfer in post-disaster reconstruction; the problem of post-post-disaster reconstruction. PhD thesis, McGill University, Montreal. Accessed 21 Aug 2014
  11. Golpayegani A, Einifar A (2004) Typology and design guide for housing in Bam… ministry of housing and urban development-office of architecture and urban planning, Tehran (in Persian)Google Scholar
  12. Hamdi N (2010) The placemaker’s guide to building community. Earthscan Publications, London, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  13. Hannagan T (2002) Mastering strategic management. Palgrave, Basingstoke Hampshire [u.a.]Google Scholar
  14. HFIR (2004–2007) Collection of work progress weekly reports by Setads (Unpublished report) (in Persian)Google Scholar
  15. Jha AK, Barenstein JD, Phelps PM, Pittat D, Sena S (2010) Chapter 6, Reconstruction Approaches. In: Safer homes, stronger communities: a handbook for reconstructing after natural disasters. World Bank, New York, pp 93–107. Accessed 11 Jan 2011
  16. Lizarralde G, Johnson C, Davidson C (2009) From complexity to strategic planning for sustainable reconstruction. In: Lizarralde G, Johnson C, Davidson C (eds) Rebuilding after disasters: from emergency to sustainability. Spon Press, London, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Markides C (2008) Strategy as balance. Bus Strategy Rev (Special report: strategy classics) 19(3):50–91.
  18. Meskinazarian A (2011) Social resilience of post-earthquake Bam. PhD thesis, Department of Geography, King’s College London, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  19. Mintzberg H (1980) Structure in 5’s: a synthesis of the research on organization design. Manage Sci 26(3):322–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mintzberg H, Ghoshal S, Lampel J, Quinn JB (2003) The strategy process: concepts, contexts, cases, 4th edn. Pearson EducationGoogle Scholar
  21. Morgan G (2006) Images of organization, updated edition (first edition 1997). Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  22. Morris PWG, Jamieson A (2005) Moving from corporate strategy to project strategy. Project Manage J 36(4):5–18Google Scholar
  23. Quzai U (2010) Pakistan: implementing people-centred reconstruction in urban and rural areas. In: Lyons M, Schilderman T, Boano C (eds) Building back better: delivering people-centred housing reconstruction at scale. Practical Action Pub, Warwickshire, UK, pp 113–134Google Scholar
  24. The World Bank (2010) Islamic Republic of Iran—Bam Earthquake emergency reconstruction project (Implementation completion and results report no. ICR1207). Accessed 09 Sep 2013
  25. Wisner B (2004) Chapter 9, Towards a safer environment. At risk: natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters. Routledge, London, pp 321–376Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Silk Cities, The Bartlett Development Planning UnitUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations