Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Rethinking Organizational Vulnerability to the Threat of Terrorism

The contemporary business organization faces many unprecedented environmental challenges that can significantly impact the organization?s survival and success. The threat of domestic and international terrorism is an ever-present reality that cannot be disregarded in organizational planning and risk management processes. The reality of the terrorist threat throughout the world must be on the environmental scanning radar screens of contemporary business executives. Over the past 15 years, the author has conducted research regarding organizational vulnerability to acts of terrorism. This research has addressed potential targets of terrorism, environmental factors, organizational exposure, organizational preparedness, and business impact. These dimensions served as the primary constructs in the author?s earlier model (Fleming, 1998) for assessing organizational vulnerability to acts of terrorism. The object of the present study was to ascertain how perceptions of organizational vulnerability to and preparedness for acts of terrorism have been rethought in light of the events of September 11, 2001. The findings of this study indicate that contemporary organizations have rethought their vulnerability and preparedness with respect to acts of terrorism and recognize an increased vulnerability to acts of terrorism that illuminates a mission-critical imperative that organizations accurately assess their vulnerability and prepare for acts of terrorism through effective risk management practices.