Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

The Appropriation by Crisis Managers of the ``Business Continuity Plan'' During the Pandemic Crisis

Jihane Bou-Slihima, Aurélia Bony-Dandrieuxb and Pierre-Michel Riccioc

Laboratoire des Sciences des Risques (LSR), IMT Mines Ales, Ales, France.


A crisis is a disruption in a balance leading to the risk of losing control. The challenges that await managers are relatively identical regardless of the organization. In particular, they have to deal with surprise in a complex environment (an event with little or poorly known effects, exceeding benchmarks, a break in capability) and make strategic decisions even though the information available is fragmentary, sometimes erroneous or contradictory, often evolving, and various pressures (major consequences induced by the decisions to be made, time pressure, media pressure, and hierarchical pressure) can lead to multiple cognitive biases. The SARS-Cov-2 crisis illustrates the evolution of threats and the need to prepare to serious disruptions. This crisis emphasized the importance of ensuring the continuity of a company's activities in order to guarantee its sustainability by adopting continuity strategies. The purpose of this study is to detect the role of the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in the decision-making process of crisis managers. We seek to understand how they handled with covid-19 crisis, what the skills, strategies and tools were used to detect and respond to this extraordinary situation. All these reflections will allow us to project the axes of improvement that can be envisaged, a renewed strategic approach that must be imposed to crisis managers. To achieve this goal, we used a grounded theory approach as one of our qualitative research designs and analysed data collected from crisis managers (17) through directional centered interviews. We combined the results of our analysis to what the literature has to provide (e.g. Norms) in a bottom/up approach to enrich the manager's toolbox by proposing a model of anticipation and business continuity that will help him to have a more holistic understanding of crisis issues that are increasingly complex.

Keywords: Business Continuity Plan (BCP), Business continuity management, Crisis management, Risk management, Interviews, Crisis managers, Covid-19 pandemic.

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