Security Protocols’ Effectiveness Related to Fire

Introduction

Managing the risk of fire outbreaks is one of the biggest concerns for many organizations in North America. According to Dunlap (2016), the fear of cases of possible fire outbreaks and their consequences have forced many companies to develop measures of countering the problem. Emerging technologies have made it possible to have measures that make it easy to detect and manage a fire outbreak before it can destroy a firm’s property. Wassenaer (2017) explains that the leadership style that a firm embraces defines the approach that a firm takes in managing fire outbreaks. It is highly dangerous to take a reactive strategy when dealing with the problem of fire. Taking actions after a fire outbreak has occurred can be a costly strategy because of the possible loss that may result from such events. As such, Kim and Solomon (2016) note that it is advisable to be proactive by having mitigation plans that can help fight possible fire outbreaks before they occur. Having a leadership style that leads to the highest level of proactive risk mitigation in the fire department is crucial, especially in large manufacturing plants where a fire outbreak can have devastating consequences. The ability to predict the possibility of occurrence of such risks and the existence of measures to deal with the problem in case it occurs reduces the impact of such problems on an organization. The focus of this research is to identify security protocols’effectiveness in enhancing proactive risk mitigation in fire departments in North American companies. The following will be the guiding question in this project:

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What is the relevance of security protocol in enhancing proactive risk mitigation in fire departments?

Aim and Objectives

Risk management is currently one of the strategic management roles that define the ability of a firm to achieve success in the market. Fire outbreaks have been one of the main risks that firms have to deal with in their normal operations. A major fire outbreak that is not managed within the right time not only destroys a firm’s properties but also disrupts normal operations. In some cases, it may pose serious threats to the employees (Dunlap 2016). It explains the reason why firms are currently keen on managing this problem. The aim of this study is to identify the leadership style that leads to the highest level of proactive risk mitigation in the fire department among companies in North America. The following are the specific objectives that will be realized through this study:

  • To determine the impact of fire outbreaks on organizations within North America;
  • To identify the relevance of effective leadership in the management of fire;
  • To determine the most effective leadership style that can enhance proactive risk mitigation in fire departments.

Previous Research Findings

Managing the risk of a fire outbreak is one of the areas of research that has attracted the attention of scholars for centuries, as Wassenaer (2017) observe. Since the time fire was discovered, it became evident that it is a useful tool that can be very dangerous when it is not managed properly (Kim & Solomon 2016). The relevance of fire management emerged during the industrial revolution (Dempsey 2014). Companies realized that they needed to use fire to facilitate industrial production of goods. However, it was posing a serious threat to the lives of workers and companies’ assets. Wassenaer (2017) explains that many lives have been lost in fire accidents across the world. The potential of this threat is still as great today as it was in the past despite the emergence of technologies and new knowledge of fire management (Dunlap 2016). Fire management is a concern to companies, non-profit organizations, schools, government, families, and any other entity because of its indiscriminate nature when it strikes. In North America, there have been memorable fire incidences worth discussing at this stage of the paper.

On October 8, 1871, the city of Chicago experienced one of the worst cases of fire in North America. Believed to be a deliberate act of arson because of the wide geographic area that was affected, the fire took lives of over 1,500 residents of the city and left 100,000 people homeless (Kim & Solomon 2016). In the modern American history, the Oakland Firestorm of 1991 remains a memorable event because of its impact. It destroyed 3,500 homes and apartments, and it was estimated that properties worth $ 1.5 billion were lost (Dunlap 2016). California’s Cedar fire of 2003, Taylor Complex fire of 2004, California wildfires of 2007, and the Fort McMurray wildfire of 2016 in Alberta, Canada all demonstrated the inadequacies of the government to battle major fire outbreaks despite the emergence of modern techniques of managing such problems.

Individual organizations have not been spared the threat of fire outbreaks in this region. Signorello Winery was once a vibrant company that enjoyed rapid expansion in the wine industry in the state of California. However, the events of October 4, 2017, brought the company to its knees (Hesse 2018). There was a fire outbreak in the company at a time when it was least expected. It lead to the death of 40 people dead and left the premises of the company in ashes (Kim & Solomon 2016). It was a clear demonstration of the lack of proactive measures for dealing with such problems at the company. Although the magnitude of the fire so was great that it needed the support of government instruments, the fact that the company was destroyed demonstrated the lack of internal mechanisms to battle such threats. The once thriving company was reduced to ashes, and the management was unclear on what to do to deal with the aftermath. According to Kim and Solomon (2016), fire outbreaks are caused by various factors such as arson, accident, terror attack, and natural causes. Irrespective of the cause of the fire, Dempsey (2014) explains that having proper security protocols enhances the ability to deal with such threats when they occur.

Relevant Theoretical Perspectives

Looking at the theoretical perspective of this problem is necessary. One of the relevant theories to this study is the proactive coping theory. This futuristic concept emphasizes the need to have self-regulation and high levels of preparedness when managing risks (Dunlap 2016). It is not possible to have a precise prediction of when a given risk will occur, its magnitude, and possible consequences. It is also impossible to avoid risks because some of them are beyond the control of an organization such as terror attacks or natural calamities. However, the proactive coping theory holds that a firm should anticipate the occurrence of such risks and come up with proper measures for managing them. Having a proper risk management mechanism can be the difference between a firm’s success in the face of occurrence of major risks or lack of the same. The concept of transformational and transactional leadership will also be relevant in this study when explaining the role of managers in fighting the risk of a fire outbreak.

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Research Methodology

It is necessary to discuss the method that will be used to collect primary data from the respondents. According to Fowler (2013), it is prudent for a researcher to collect primary data to understand the current state of issues under investigation. An effective data collection plan makes the actual process simple. In this section of the proposal, sampling technique, data collection procedure, analysis approach, reliability, and validity of data are discussed.

Sampling and Sample Size

Fire management is a concern for every organization in the country. Bai (2014) explains that occupational safety standards require every firm in this country to have proper measures for managing afire. In many large organizations, the department of fire management has been developed to help deal with such problems. It means that the population of participants who can potentially take part in the study is very large. Given that this is academic research that has to be completed within a specified time, sampling will be necessary. Simple random sampling will be used to identify specific participants for the study. The researcher sent questionnaire to 500 employees working within risk management departments of various organizations across the country. It was expected that majority of them may fail to take part in the study within the time available. A sample size of 100 participants was desirable. Selecting a large sample size meant that the study will have required number of participants even if some people failed to take part in the study. It is expected that those who will be sampled will have adequate knowledge in this field of study.

Data Collection

After selecting a sample of participants to take part in the study, the next part will be to collect data from them. According to Rovai, Baker and Ponton (2013) conducting a face-to-face interview is one of the best ways of collecting primary data. However, when dealing with a large number of respondents spread across a large geographic area, this method is not always appropriate. Given that the scope of the research is wide and goes beyond the geographic borders of the country, SurveyMonkey will be used to help in data collection from neighboring nations in North America. The survey would facilitate quantitative analysis of data. This is a mixed method research, and as such, a small portion of respondents was selected to take part in phone interviews. The interview would facilitate qualitative data analysis. In both approaches of data collection, the researcher will use a questionnaire to facilitate the process of gathering the needed information from the participants.

Data Analysis

Once data is collected from the participants, Fowler (2013) explains that the next phase is the analysis. As explained in the section above, the chosen design was a mixed method research. As such, the research analysis will use content analysis and thematic analysis. The goal of the project is to identify security protocols’ effectiveness related to fire management. The topic needs both qualitative and quantitative analysis. It requires the researcher to get a detailed explanation from the participants, based on their experience and knowledge about leadership styles that can promote proactive risk mitigation in fire departments of companies in North America. Phenomenology will be used to help demonstrate the need to have proactive leadership when managing the fire. At the same time, it was necessary to have quantitative analysis to understand the magnitude of the problem and how it can be addressed effectively.

Reliability and Validity

Nestor and Schutt (2014) emphasize the need to ensure that the data collected is reliable. Given that the study will involve survey, the reliability of data in this study will be enhanced through triangulation. It means that the researcher will rely on different sources of data to inform the study. Using both primary and secondary sources of data to inform the conclusion and recommendations of the study will also enhance its reliability. Internal consistency will also help in enhancing reliability. Personal feelings will not influence the processes of data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The instrument of data collection will be tested for validity before being used.

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Research Ethics

Ethical concerns will have to be taken into consideration in this study. One of the main ethical requirements that will be met is the need to seek permission from the management of the organizations that will be taking part in the project. The researcher will also explain to the participants the relevance of this study and the importance of their involvement. Participation will be on a voluntary basis as no one will be coerced into helping in the data collection process. As Burtonshaw-Gunn (2016) explains, it is the responsibility of a researcher to make sure that the participants are protected. Ensuring that their identity is not revealed helps in eliminating cases where they are discriminated against because of their views divergent from those of the majority.

Anticipated Problems

Munier (2014) explains that the ability to manage challenges in a research depends on the level of preparedness. One of the major challenges anticipated is the inability of the respondents to provide accurate data needed for the study. Proactive leadership and its effectiveness in risk management may not be a new concept, but not everyone clearly understands it (Frynas 2015). Such problems will be addressed during the face-to-face interview by elaborately explaining concepts that seem unclear to the participants. Finding participants with the right knowledge for the study and convincing them to be part of the research can be a challenge. Munier (2014) observes that a tight schedule of some employees makes it difficult for them to have time to participate in an interview. It will be necessary to identify as many participants as possible to ensure that there will be a sufficient number of people taking part in the study (Fowler 2013). The use of online data collection tools such as Survey Monkey will help in addressing geographic barriers.

Reference List

Bai, Y 2014, Subsea pipeline integrity and risk management, Gulf Professional Publishing, London.

Burtonshaw-Gunn, S 2016, Risk and financial management in construction, Routledge, New York, NY.

Dempsey, C 2014, Castles in the sand: a city planner in Abu Dhabi, McMillan, London.

Dunlap, S 2016, Loss control auditing: a guide for conducting fire, safety, and security audits, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL.

Fowler, F 2013, Survey research methods, 5th edn, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Frynas, J 2015, Global strategic management, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Hesse, M 2018, American fire: love, arson, and life in a vanishing land, Liveright Publishing Corporation, New York, NY.

Kim, D & Solomon, M 2016, Fundamentals of information systems security, 3rd edn, Jones & Bartlett Learning, Burlington, MA.

Munier, N 2014, Risk management for engineering projects: procedures, methods, and tools, Springer, New York, NY.

Nestor, P &Schutt, R 2014, Research methods in psychology: investigating human behaviour, 2nd edn, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Rovai, A, Baker, J &Ponton, M 2013, Social science research design and statistics: a practitioner’s guide to research methods and SPSS analysis, Watertree Press, Chesapeake, VA.

Wassenaer, A 2017, A practical guide to successful construction projects, Routledge, New York, NY.

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