Degree Name

Master of Management - Research


School of Management, Operations and Marketing


Local government in New South Wales (NSW) has taken an active interest in business continuity management (BCM), driven by legislative and operational requirements. However, the implementation of BCM has been hampered by a lack of understanding of what business continuity is and what it entails for local government. BCM can be defined as an agreed, tried and systematic approach used by an organisation for the management of any crisis. It is business-centric, focused on dealing with a crisis or disaster at the organisational level. It is focused primarily on the organisation’s people, services to customers, suppliers, processes and systems’, ensuring that recovery is achievable without significant disruption to the organisation. Currently, there is a knowledge gap on what design elements for BCM are most important and suitable for local government. This research will first profile the current approach to BCM within the NSW local government sector. Second, it will seek to develop key design elements for BCM that could assist councils in developing effective BCM programmes for their organisations.

The study undertakes a thematic analysis on the available literature on the use of BCM in the public, private and local government sectors. The thematic analysis of the literature was used to produce a BCM maturity model and a matrix of key components/design elements necessary for an effective BCM programme. These components were empirically explored using a qualitative multiple case study methodology. Five councils in NSW were studied through semi-structured interviews and a focus-group activity with key stakeholders (in this study, managers) from within the participant councils. The outcomes of this research will ascertain the applicability of BCM to the sector and develop an understanding of how BCM is being used within local government, ensuring that there is a sector understanding of how some programmes have been implemented to date. It will contribute to the discussion on the value of using BCM frameworks when implementing BCM programmes within organisations and provide strategic leaders in local government with design criteria that could be used to build internal BCM knowledge and capabilities.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.