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Dissertation Business Continuity Management Definition

Sawalha, Ihab Hanna (2011) Business Continuity Management and Strategic Planning: the Case of Jordan. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.


Business Continuity Management (BCM) is a process that focuses on counteracting organizational risk, disasters and crises. Placing Business Continuity Management in the context of Strategic Planning (SP) will help organizations to cope with a wide range of unexpected incidents before, during and after their occurrence. Subsequently, this will help to ensure the long-term survival of an organization.

The aim of this research is to develop an understanding of the significance of placing BCM in the context of SP. This requires studying BCM, its significance, role and practice; Strategic Planning, its significance, purpose and potential vulnerability; the rationale for placing BCM in the context of SP; the factors that are likely to influence placing BCM in the context of SP including driving factors and obstacles; and managers’ views of BCM and the placing of BCM in the context of SP.

This research was undertaken in the Jordanian context. Data was collected via interviewer-administered questionnaires which were conducted with general managers and other key managers from Jordanian organizations from the banking, insurance, industrial and services sectors. 110 questionnaires were collected. The questionnaires were followed by 10 semi-structured interviews in order to support the quantitative findings obtained by the questionnaires.

The research findings revealed that 80.9% of the surveyed organizations in Jordan used BCM. Those organizations that used BCM differed to some extent in their practice of BCM. 51.8% of the surveyed organizations had BCM placed in the context of SP. SP was important for achieving organizational purposes including those related to BCM. The approach to BCM, which is adopted in Jordanian organizations, helped to place BCM in the context of SP. There were a number of factors that discouraged some Jordanian organizations from placing BCM in the context of SP. However, there were also a number of factors that encouraged some other Jordanian organizations to place BCM in the context of SP. Managers had positive views regarding BCM. They either agreed or strongly agreed that BCM can be integrated with SP; BCM would help their organizations to cope with various types of disasters and crises if it is integrated with SP; BCM was an integral part of their organizations’ approach to risk; and BCM was not an extra burden to their businesses.

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The importance of the adoption of business continuity plans is now well recognized by organizations all over the world. Whatever the business model, organizations are operating in an increasingly global, complex and risky context. Economic, social, political, technical, environment related events can interrupt core business. Natural disasters, diseases, terrorist attacks, strikes, financial crises, unreliable systems, logistics, supply chain failures, as well as unexpected lack of essential production inputs can severely impact growth and performance. The development of well-established plans that consider the identification of business interruption risks, the definition of strategic and tactical plans, proactive management and preparedness to respond should be a goal.

Business Continuity plans consider vital issues to be observed by organizations to assure production. Reliability and risk assessment methodologies compose powerful tools to support those plans. With them it is possible to identify potential threats to an organization and their associated impacts to business operations, and to provide a framework for building organizational capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value creating activities. This paper presents topics that

compose current standards concerning Business Continuity Management programs and examples of the use of reliability modelling, applied to Brazilian gas supply chain, and its importance for supporting BCM programs.

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