Against a background of increasing threats, business continuity management (BCM) has emerged in many industries as a systematic process to counter the effects of crises and interruptions, although its potential to play a more strategic role is still largely underexplored. This article examines the organisational antecedents of BCM and develops a conceptual approach to posit that BCM, in actively ensuring operational continuity, has a role in preserving competitive advantage. Such value preservation is central to the business continuity/business strategy relationship, and gives rise to the central purpose of the paper; to discuss whether firms' BCM can be seen as strategic rather than purely functional. If so, what form does such provision take in terms of planning, organisation and culture? Evidence from six UK-based financial services firms illustrates differing approaches to business continuity, with two firms showing BCM provision more clearly aligned towards a missioncritical strategic role. Practical precepts for implementation are presented, together with a diagnostic drawing attention to the key determinants of enhanced value preservation.