Impact of National Culture on Business Continuity Management System Implementation

Impact of National Culture on Business Continuity Management System Implementation

Praval Shukla (Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India), Abhijeet Kumar (Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India) and Anu Kumar P.B. (Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/ijrcm.2013070102
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It is increasingly evident that the concerns of business continuity management are not limited by national boundaries. Yet, very few studies have been carried out on business continuity from a cross-cultural perspective. The current paper tries to address this gap in literature by looking at a Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) implementation. The researchers examine the impact of national culture on the variables of BCMS implementation success using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions as factors. The unique aspect this study was that the researchers analyzed BCMS implementation effectiveness through the four phases of the PDCA cycle, while assessing the impact of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions.
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The topic of business continuity management has evolved from a form crisis management in 1970s to a full-fledged business area in today’s competitive environment {Goodwin, 2012 #2584}. In recent years, BCM have focused on integrating different aspects of continuity and developing internationally accepted standards and best practices.

Various standards have emerged like the British standard for BCM, BS-25999 and more recently the International Business Continuity Standard ISO 22301 which are being adopted and implemented across the world to equip the organization with the necessary business resilience. The topic has not been given much thought from a cross-cultural perspective.

Gardener (2008) talks about the role of motivational factors in BCM and how setting up a BCM system brings up several hygiene factors into picture. He emphasizes on the importance of people and the role of national culture in influencing the people in the organization. Several other studies throw light on the relationship between organizational culture and national culture.

Hofstede (1983) supported the idea of organizations adapting their management ideas to suit the local cultures of the geography by claiming the management as being ‘culturally dependant’. Although Hofstede (2001) acknowledged the numerous examples of multinationals successfully superimposing their organizational culture on the local culture but he opines that such a way forward is often very difficult to accomplish and hence it is better to fit to the local culture for achieving success.

Similarly, drawing upon the Hofstede’s work, Johns (2006) talks about the impact national culture has on restricting the variation in organizational culture. More recently the GLOBE (short for Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research)Project (House, R. J., Hanges, P. J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P. W., & Gupta V. (Eds.) (2004), points to the bond between national culture and organizational culture with organizations displaying an organizational cultural consistent with their respective country of origin.

This paper proposes that setting up a Business Continuity Management System across physical boundaries may gain from an understanding of the cultural dimensions proposed by Hofstede (1980). These dimensions are, high versus low uncertainty avoidance, high versus low power distance, masculinity versus femininity, individualism versus collectivism, and long versus short time orientation.

Furthermore, quality is an important factor to consider within a system implementation project. However, no studies have mapped quality with culture. In this study the researchers review the PDCA cycle used in ISO 22301, and map it to the cultural dimensions. This relationship is explored in detail during the study. The study is limited to understanding the impact of national culture on BCMS requirements but does not explore the impact of organizational culture that might be different from the assumed national culture {Strang, 2012 #2556}.

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