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Organisations and risk management: Programme 1

Programme Director: Michael Power

This programme has three interlocking levels concerned with the organisation of risk management practices:

Ideas and discourses of risk and its management in organisations. Here, the task is to analyse the origins and impacts of risk management knowledge. The scope of this emerging framework consists not only in specific analytical technologies, but also encompasses programmatic and aspirational discourses which mobilise risk management ideas in a growing variety of private and public organisational functions. Analysing the ideas of risk management in this way provides the broader context for studying the way risk is known and constructed in specific organisational settings.

Interorganisational networks and relations in the management of risk. Here, the interest is in the functioning of emergent risk governance regimes, which may involve government as one actor among others, thereby overlapping with the scope of programme 2. In particular, the role of NGO and 'civil society' organisations as regulators of corporations, the role of intercorporate networks, and the web of private and public relations supporting risk regulation, place the management of risk in broad multi-organisational frameworks which do not necessarily have a clear centre.

Intraorganisational processes of risk management involving all levels of the organisation from senior management to operational staff. The involvement of different organisational agents in internal control systems, compliance functions, strategic planning and information management have implications for the internal construction of, and attention to, risk. Whether and how business organisations understand and process risk and regulatory initiatives, whether programmes for integration of risk management are effective, and whether understandings of risk are shared throughout an organisation are key issues for investigation.


Bridget Hutter (Peacock) Corporate risk management: managing risks and responding to regulation.

Javier Lezaun (ESRC) Implementation of biotechnology regulations; Traceability and market infrastructures.

Peter Miller (ESRC) Calculation, coordination and accountability.

Joan O'Mahony (Leverhulme) Civil society and the regulation of business.

Michael Power (ESRC) Corporate governance and risk management: the new risk management and risk officers.

Henry Rothstein (ESRC) Openness, risk and governance.