Survival of a business with a business plan

High School ・Business ・APA ・2 Sources

Potential factors which threaten the survival of a firm are often effectively addressed under a business continuity plan. Through this framework, the company’s management can plan before time, the way to resolve disasters likely to affect the operation of a company by tarnishing its brand image and reputation among the potential consumers within the market. The presented research outlines the business continuity plan benefits. The central focus of the analysis is on the case of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster and therefore the benefits that the plan ensured in achieving the Exxon Corporation’s continuity. The opening section of the paper introduces the concept of business continuity and therefore the importance of a framework of business continuity to organizations which utilize it. The introduction section offers a guide on the general direction of the paper including what it will achieve.

The second section is the analysis section which is also the main body of the assignment. Under the analysis section, three major concepts are addressed. The first one includes the noted disaster analyzed. The identified company for analysis is the Exxon Corporation and the Exxon Valdez oil spill which took place in 1989. The second section of the analysis outlines the noted benefits of the firm derived from utilizing the business continuity plan during the oil spillage disaster. The third section of the analysis outlines how the firm became successful as a result of having its plan in place. The presented section of the analysis acknowledges that organizations should have business continuity plans to avoid future failures when faced with disasters. The final section of the paper is the conclusion which provides a recap of the major factors addressed in the analysis.

Research Paper #2: The importance of Business Continuity Plan during the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill disaster


Business continuity plans are utilized within firms to maintain synergy and organization resilience (Kachgal, 2015). Business continuity refers to the ability of a firm to maintain the vital functions during a well as after the occurrence of a disaster. Through appropriate business continuity planning, organizations have established a risk management process and procedure which seeks to prevent interruptions to services which are critical to its mission and re-establishes a firm’s full function to the organization in a smooth and quick manner (Kachgal, 2015). Exxon Valdez company is one of the company which have successfully utilized its business continuity plan during a disaster management to ensure a continuity of its operations. The business continuity plan assists a firm in drafting important strategies in addressing disasters through proper resource allocation. The presented analysis explores the case of Exxon Valdez and the benefits of its business continuity plan after the oil spill disaster.

The Disaster

Nixon et al. (2015) outlines that the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster involved a massive oil spill which took place on March 24th 1989. The disaster was noted at Prince William Sound. The catastrophe was noted after the company’s tanker referred to as the Exxon Valdez hit a reef when it was on a voyage from Valdez to California. After this, delayed efforts were noted in recovering the oil spillage, thus resulting to a great spill of crude oil of approximately 11,000,000 gallons (Nixon et al., 2013). The presented factor was enhanced with the natural strong winds which dispersed the spilled oil on the adjacent waters on the far south between the Kodiak Island and the Alaska Sen. The caused damage was significantly high and could have been termed as uncontrollable in the presented instance. Various volunteers and workers came forth to aid in the clean-up process after the spill. However, the process was highly costly for the Exxon Corporation based on the fact that the firm had to offer $2.1 billion in the process (Nixon et al., 2013). Despite the considerable amount of efforts focused on the clean-up process, the spill was detrimental to the native wildlife as well as the company’s reputation threatening its survival.

The benefit of Business Continuity plan during the Exxon Valdez oil spill

The business continuity plan came in handy during the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Kachgal (2015) outlines the benefits business continuity plan during disasters by indicating that it outlines the requisite steps which are appropriate for an organization to operate when faced with severe market aspects. In the case of the Exxon Corporation, the organization relied on its continuity plan which outlined backup strategies which can be implemented when addressing disasters such as the Valdez oil spill. For instance, the business continuity plan allowed the company to identify, assess and analyze the impact of the oil spill disaster (Kachgal, 2013). Through this, the firm was able to have a clear indication of the disaster and its outcome, including the next steps which had to be undertaken to prevent more drastic outcomes from the oil spillage. The business continuity plan also came in handy during the oil spill disaster by providing an appropriate strategy for mitigating the hazard. For instance, in the case of Exxon Valdez, biological recovery was considered as one of the most effective mitigation strategy of controlling more damage. Additionally, the continuity plan provided that the protection of the environmental resources was an important strategy of mitigation.

Nixon et al. (2013) provides an indication that the business continuity plan helped Exxon Corporation in the management of the oil spill disaster by directing the company’s leaders to review the existing threats and weaknesses of the firms from a detached perspective. Through the plan, the management was guided to focus on positive questions focused on preventing the future occurrences of similar disasters rather than relying on “what if” concerns. Apparently, business continuity plans are highly important in assuring teams how to act during challenging times to avoid uncontrollable scenarios (Kachgal, 2015).

Through its business continuity plan, the organization was also able to engage in resource management which is a critical aspect in ensuring business survival during difficult times. Financial management of resources is vital towards promoting various operations evident during hazard mitigation. Also, the continuity plan was highly important for the firm since it outlines the various operations and procedures which must be considered to ensure the business remains on the right track even with the difficult times noted during the disaster period.

How Exxon Corporation was Successful

Having the business continuity plan in place prevented Exxon Corporation from failure during the oil spill disaster. The fact that the plan focused more on disaster recovery other than the weakness arising from within the organization greatly benefited the firm by allowing it to safeguard its image among the potential stakeholder amidst a drastic event. Through speculating on the company’s actions during the disaster, the plan allowed to the organization to implement the right strategies of hazard mitigation to prevent the disaster from spreading further to an uncontrollable rate which could not only have affected the sea animal life but also the tarnished the reputation of the organization’s brand among the consumers. Being able to address the concern urgently is important for the business’s brand since it suggests that the company is always ready to deal with disasters at hand to prevent potential losses.

The business continuity plan also prevented the firm from failure during the oil spill disaster in that it highlights the potential weaknesses likely to be experienced in the face of such incidents. As a result, the business is always prepared from a resourceful perspective to address such concerns. Kachgal (2015) points out that crafting a business continuity plan involves accessing employees, resources, leadership and corporate strategies. Through this, firms such as Exxon Corporation can have important strategies in place of controlling the impact of disasters on its operations even before the situation takes place.


To summarize, business continuity plans is important for organizations since it directs the potential factors which threatens the firm. Such frameworks are vita in building resilience and capabilities for an effective response. The response in question is focused on safeguarding the interests of the key stakeholders, including the brand and reputation of the organization to establish valuable activities. Exxon Corporation is one of the companies which has a business continuity plan in place. Through this, the firm was able to establish an important way of dealing with various disasters such as the Exxon Valdez oil spillage, a disaster which could have significantly influenced the company’s performance by tarnishing its brand reputation among the consumers in the market.


Kachgal, J. A. (2015). The synergy needed for business resilience.Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning 9(1), 10-17.

Nixon, Z., Miche, J., Hayes, M. O., Irvine, G. V., & Short, J. (2013). Geomorphic Factors Related to the Persistence of Subsurface Oil from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.Journal Of Coastal Research, 115-128.

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