Surviving organizational disasters

W. Jack Duncan, Valerie A. Yeager, Andrew C. Rucks, Peter M. Ginter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Man-made and natural disasters are becoming increasingly common in today's world. Among other entities, companies should be concerned because these impact organizational survival, disrupting the lives and functioning of employees, suppliers, customers, and organizational infrastructure. If the present trend continues, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is on track to declare 30% more disasters in 2010 than in 2009. Organizational disasters are crises in the extreme. While the crisis management literature provides a useful foundation for planning for internal organizational threats, it does not adequately address larger external threats brought about by disasters. With this gap in mind, we herein present a framework for planning for man-made or natural disasters: continuity of operations planning (COOP). Continuity of operations planning is a tool that aids organizations in staying in business under extreme circumstances. Although continuity of operations planning is not an entirely new practice, many small and medium-sized firms are reluctant to engage in this type of planning. To highlight the value of the process, this article provides examples of organizational disasters, alongside a simplified method for developing an effective continuity of operations plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalBusiness Horizons
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Business
  • Continuity
  • Disaster
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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