Socio-Political Risk-Contingency-Management Framework for Practitioners and Researchers

Socio-Political Risk-Contingency-Management Framework for Practitioners and Researchers

Kenneth David Strang (State University of New York at Plattsburgh, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4754-9.ch007
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In this chapter, a new risk and contingency model is developed to articulate emerging global paradigm factors that were not prevalent in the community of practice 5-6 years ago. The generally accepted definitions of risk and uncertainty are clarified and the literature is reviewed to reveal four new categories of global uncertainty that impact risk and contingency planning in the microenvironment, task environment and internal to organizations. Some of the emerging factors include the big data paradigm, fear of global terrorism, economic instability, climate change, international trade agreement changes, along with domestic and workplace violence. After a detailed literature review, the factors are summarized and presented in a visual model. The implications on current and future practice are discussed, closing with recommendations for future research.
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Background Literature Review

The perception of the terms ‘risk’ and ‘contingency’ vary across disciplines and cultures (Smith & Fischbacher, 2009; Strang, 2015; Korstanje, 2015). It is not often that culture is discussed within risk management but it is a relevant factor (Vajjhala & Strang, 2017). Socio-politics has recently emerged as a dimension which moderates the culture or risk. Interestingly, in Asian cultures, where Buddhism, Confucianism, and Islam religions dominate, risk is often attributed to spiritual governance such as the wishes of Buddha, Confucius or Allah - the equivalent of God from Christian testament (Strang, 2011d). Eastern cultures (notably in the Middle East, Africa and Asia) typically refer to negative events as bad luck instead of unfavorable risk outcomes and therefore the tendency is to avoid risks rather than manage them, while the opposite is true of risk attitudes in the west such as in Europe and North America (Strang, 2010a). This phenomenon can be explained by a dimension in the global culture model known as risk avoidance which refers to a bipolar tendency to either avoid uncertainty if high or at the other low extreme there is a tendency to want to control or leverage risk (Hofstede, 2009; Strang, 2009). An emerging form of national risk avoidance has been described as a ‘fear culture’ primarily as the anxiety of an unknown global terrorist attack coupled with a reduction of human rights (Korstanje & Strang, 2018). A widespread risk avoidance national culture could have a great impact on most disciplines and industries in a region or country and therefore this element must be encompassed into contingency planning.

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