SESAME: exploring small businesses' behaviour to enhance resilience to flooding

Coates, Graham, Wright, Nigel, McGuinness, Martina, Guan, Dabo, Harries, Tim and McEwan, Lindsey (2016) SESAME: exploring small businesses' behaviour to enhance resilience to flooding. In: 3rd European Conference on Flood Risk Management (FLOODrisk 2016); 17 - 21 Oct 2016, Lyon, France. ISSN (online) 2267-1242 ISBN 9781510833609


In the United Kingdom, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) account for approximately 99.9% of businesses, 60% of the working population and 47% annual turnover. However, despite the important contribution that SMEs make to the economy, this size of business remains under-researched with a significant gap in understanding how the disruption caused by flooding impacts on SMEs from the time at which a flood event occurs through to the ‘return’ to normal operations. Business continuity management is a recognised approach for enhancing organisational resilience to major disruptions (ISO 22301, 2012). However, this strategic approach to building such resilience in SMEs is under-explored in the literature with a limited range of empirical data to draw on. This paper presents an overview of an inter-disciplinary research project funded by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, called SESAME, which examines SMEs’ operational response and preparedness to flooding. Furthermore, SESAME consists of four stands of research which bring together a number of disciplines including agent based modelling and simulation, flood modelling, business continuity management, economic modelling and behavioural science. This paper provides an overview of the different research stands within the SESAME project aimed at enhancing SMEs’ resilience to flooding.

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