When organisational effectiveness fails: business continuity management and the paradox of performance

Fischbacher-Smith, D. (2017) When organisational effectiveness fails: business continuity management and the paradox of performance. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 4(1), pp. 89-107. (doi:10.1108/JOEPP-01-2017-0002)

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Abstract

Purpose: The aim of the paper is to consider the nature of the business continuity management (BCM) process and to frame it within wider literature on the performance of socio-technical systems. Despite the growth in BCM activities in organisations, some questions remain as to whether academic research has helped to drive this process. The paper seeks to stimulate discussion within this journal of the interplay between organisational performance and BCM and to frame it within the context of the potential tensions between effectiveness and efficiency. Design/methodology/approach: The paper considers how BCM is defined within the professional and academic communities that work in the area. It deconstructs these definitions in order to and set out the key elements of BCM that emerge from the definitions and considers how the various elements of BCM can interact with each other in the context of organisational performance. Findings: The relationships between academic research in the area of crisis management and the practice-based approaches to business continuity remain somewhat disjointed. In addition, recent work in the safety management literature on the relationships between success and failure can be seen to offer some interesting challenges for the practice of business continuity. Practical implications: The paper draws on some of the practice-based definitions of BCM and highlights the limitations and challenges associated with the construct. The paper sets out challenges for BCM based upon theoretical challenges arising in cognate areas of research. The aim is to ensure that BCM is integrated with emerging concepts in other aspects of the management of uncertainty and to do so in a strategic context. Originality/value: Academic research on performance reflects both the variety and the multi-disciplinary nature of the issues around measuring and managing performance. Failures in organisational performance have also invariably attracted considerable attention due to the nature of a range of disruptive events. The paper reveals some of the inherent paradoxes that sit at the core of the BCM process and its relationships with organisational performance.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fischbacher-Smith, Professor Denis
Authors: Fischbacher-Smith, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance
Publisher:Emerald
ISSN:2051-6614
Published Online:01 January 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited
First Published:First published in Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance 4(1):89-107
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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