Riskwork: Essays on the Organizational Life of Risk Management

ISBN : 9780198753223

Michael Power
336 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Sep 2016
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This collection of essays deals with the situated management of risk in a wide variety of organizational settings - aviation, mental health, railway project management, energy, toy manufacture, financial services, chemicals regulation, and NGOs. Each chapter connects the analysis of risk studies with critical themes in organization studies more generally based on access to, and observations of, actors in the field. The emphasis in these contributions is upon the variety of ways in which organizational actors, in combination with a range of material technologies and artefacts, such as safety reporting systems, risk maps and key risk indicators, accomplish and make sense of the normal work of managing risk - riskwork. In contrast to a preoccupation with disasters and accidents after the event, the volume as whole is focused on the situationally specific character of routine risk management work. It emerges that this riskwork is highly varied, entangled with material artefacts which represent and construct risks and, importantly, is not confined to formal risk management departments or personnel. Each chapter suggests that the distributed nature of this riskwork lives uneasily with formalized risk management protocols and accountability requirements. In addition, riskwork as an organizational process makes contested issues of identity and values readily visible. These 'back stage/back office' encounters with risk are revealed as being as much emotional as they are rationally calculative. Overall, the collection combines constructivist sensibilities about risk objects with a micro-sociological orientation to the study of organizations.


Michael Power: Introduction - Riskwork: the Organizational Life of Risk Management
1 David Demortain: The Work of Making Risk Frameworks
2 Silvia Jordan & Lene Jorgensen: Risk Mapping: Day-to-Day Risk Work in Inter-organizational Project Management
3 Matthew Hall & Renuka Fernando: Beyond the Headlines: Day-to-Day Practices of Risk Measurement and Management in a Non-Governmental Organization
4 Maria Zhivitskaya and Michael Power: The Work of Risk Oversight
5 Asa Boholm & Herve Corvellec: The Role of Valuation Practices for Risk Identification
6 Steve Maguire & Cynthia Hardy: Riskwork: Three Scenarios from a Study of Industrial Chemicals in Canada
7 Tommaso Palermo: Technoculture: Risk Reporting and Analysis at a Large Airline
8 Zsuzsanna Vargha: Conversation Stoppers: Constructing Consumer Attitudes to Risk in UK Wealth Management
9 Brian Pentland: Risk and Routine in the Digitized World
10 Veronique Labelle & Linda Rouleau: Doing Institutional Riskwork in a Mental Health Hospital
11 Michael Fischer And Gerry Mcgivern: Affective Overflows in Clinical Riskwork
12 Anette Mikes: The Triumph of the Humble Chief Risk Officer
Michael Power: Postscript: On Riskwork and Auditwork

About the author: 

Michael Power is Professor of Accounting at the London School of Economics a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), an Associate member of the UK Chartered Institute of Taxation, and an honorary fellow of the Institute of Risk Management. Power has served for over a decade as an indepedent company director in UK financial services and has a number of other advisory positions for public bodies, including the Financial Reporting Council. He holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of St Gallen, Switzerland, Uppsala, Sweden and Turku, Finland. Research and teaching focus on regulation, accounting, auditing, internal control, risk management and organisation theory. His major works, The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification (Oxford 1999) and Organized Uncertainty: Designing a World of Risk Management (Oxford 2007) have been translated into Japanese.

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