|Dr Noreen Tehrani|
Businesses do not have the best track record in terms of survival. Firstly, they are a relatively recent invention with the first commercial organisations being introduced around 500 years ago. Secondly, they are not particularly robust compared to the average human being. The average life expectancy for a multinational corporation is 40 and 50 years
(Bloomberg Businessweek, 2012) whilst the life
expectancy of someone living in the UK is over 75 years (and rising). It would seem that anyone working in business
continuity has their work cut out if they are to make any inroads to what
appears to be a hopeless case of premature organisational senility.
Currently, much of the emphasis in business continuity is on keeping the systems running, ensuring the flow of materials, resources and information, protecting assets and meeting sales. Whilst this is undoubtedly important to the day to day functioning of business it cannot be the whole story. Like people, organisations need to function within a social and cultural setting and have to respond sensitively to that environment if they are to gain the trust and support of their workforce and the wider community. Corporate social responsibility is not only a nice thing to do but when it is actively involved in engaging with environmental and social issues can increase business sustainability which in terms of business longevity is essential