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European Business Review, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Brahim Herbane

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the experience, impact and likelihood of an acute business interruption, along with the perceived ability to intervene…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the experience, impact and likelihood of an acute business interruption, along with the perceived ability to intervene, influences the “threat orientation” of owner-managers in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. The concept of “threat orientation” is introduced in this study as a way to eschew the binary view of whether an organisation does or does not have processes and capabilities to respond to acute interruptions.

Design/methodology/approach

“Threat orientation” is operationalised and survey data are collected from 215 SMEs in the UK. Data from owner-managers are analysed using multiple regression techniques.

Findings

The results of this study provide empirical evidence to highlight the importance of firm age rather than size as a determinant of the propensity to formalise activities to deal with acute interruptions. Recent experience and the ability to intervene were statistically significant predictors of threat orientation but the likelihood and concern about specific types of threat was not found to positively influence threat orientation.

Research limitations/implications

Although the data are self-report in nature, the respondents in the study are the chief decision and policy makers in their organisations and thus it is essential to understand the influences on their threat orientation. Results are generalisable only to UK SMEs.

Originality/value

The findings of the paper contribute to a nascent understanding of planning for acute interruptions in SMEs and (despite the cross-sectional nature of the study), the findings clearly reinforce the need for continuing longitudinal research into how resilience develops in smaller organisations.

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Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1997

Brahim Herbane

Whilst the automotive industry celebrates its centenary, in this same period relationships between manufacturing organisations and their component suppliers have…

Abstract

Whilst the automotive industry celebrates its centenary, in this same period relationships between manufacturing organisations and their component suppliers have experienced a sea change due to the advent of global competition. In the case of the automotive components industry, the change from market‐based approaches to collaborative relations has included earlier and more profound commitments to part design, downstream dependent manufacture and delivery (JIT), constancy of production, higher quality, and falling unit costs (Womack et al 1990; Lamming, 1994). If the latter part of the twentieth century can be characterised as one of uncertainty, discontinuity and unreason, so too must the concept of strategy. Seen as the art and science of management exercised to meet the competition in the marketplace under more favourable conditions, the search for sustainable competitive advantage has become the centre‐point of strategic management yet has marginalised re‐source‐based views of the firm for much of this period. Successful organisations are seen to be those who match the opportunities and threats in their environments using their capabilities, known through the continuous analysis and development of internal proficiencies. Known as the concept of ‘best‐fit’ and popularised by ‘SWOT’ type analyses, strategy theory has suggested a linear process involving mission/goal setting and review, internal and external analysis, strategic choice, implementation, and feedback and control. However, such organisational analysis has tended to follow functional boundaries, often eliciting functional bias. Other approaches have centred upon the value/cost generating operations in the manufacturing/delivery process (Porter, 1985). Quantification of organisational attributes has often been sought or espoused at the expense of relevance and explanatory power, yet it can be readily acknowledged that soft systems, tacit knowledge and behaviour, and foresight play a part in determining organisational configuration. At the dawn of a golden age for the discipline the perceived constraints of pedagogy, the need to quantify and the stubborn orthodoxies of planning have given rise to situation that Whittington describes as follows: “If there was really so much agreement on the fundamentals of corporate strategy, then strategic decisions would not be so hard to make” (1993:1). Clearly, firms are historical and social entities, often influenced by the organisations and resources closest to them.

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Management Research News, vol. 20 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

Ethné Swartz, Dominic Elliott and Brahim Herbane

Offers a crisis management critique of the information systems andcontingency planning literature and puts forward recommendations fordisaster recovery. The internal and…

Abstract

Offers a crisis management critique of the information systems and contingency planning literature and puts forward recommendations for disaster recovery. The internal and hardware focus of disaster recovery permits only partial examination of the causes of disasters and seeks to treat their effects or symptoms rather than to prevent them. Concludes with a series of recommendations for information systems planners. Information systems crises should be perceived as the result of an interaction between a number of internal and external factors. Preventing information systems crises, therefore, requires attention to complex system issues.

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Facilities, vol. 13 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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