Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration



First Advisor

Daniel W. Kemper

Second Advisor

Laura DeRigne

Third Advisor

Joseph Silverio


The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of disaster plans and communications networks on the level of optimism in small businesses after a riverine flood. Business survival under any conditions depends upon the application of resources to meet demands . A disaster simultaneously reduces available resources and increases demands upon businesses to such a degree that many fail. A number of factors have been shown to contribute to business survival after disaster . Managerial optimism, disaster plans, and prior contact with outside agencies have been identified as factors which are associated with improved business recovery and reconstruction.

The purpose of the present study is to explore the workings of these three factors among small businesses. The initial hypothesis is that disaster plans would be more common, and levels of outside contacts prior to disaster impact would be higher, in those businesses whose representatives expressed more optimistic perceptions of the future of their business.

The study was conducted by a questionnaire mailed to 100 businesses in the Chesterfield Valley, which was affected by the Missouri River flood of 1993. Thirty-six completed data sheets were analyzed by t-test for difference of means, by Chi-square, and by a one-way analysis of variance. The effects of demographic groupings by size, age, and type of business were separated out f rom the various levels of disaster experience, and the level of managerial optimism was determined for each subgroup.

Results of the analysis were mixed. Viewpoints became more optimistic as the size and age of the business increased. Business experiences in relocation and suspending operations were not altered by either plan or contacts, nor by any of the demographic variables examined . The presence of a disaster plan was found to have an insignificant effect on managerial optimism; however , the presence of outside contacts prior to disaster was associated with a significant increase in optimism, independent of all other factors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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