Journal article

Organizations, Risk Translations and the Ecology of Risks: The Discursive Construction of a Novel Risk

Cynthia Hardy, Steve Maguire

Academy of Management Journal | Academy of Management | Published : 2019


The contemporary ‘risk society’ is associated with the emergence of a wide range of risks characterised by uncertainty and unfamiliarity. These ‘novel’ risks pose a major challenge for organizations: their negative effects may be significant, but prevailing risk assessment techniques are limited in their ability to identify them. Building on our prior work on the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), this study examines how organizations deal with novel risks. It finds that organizations engage in ‘risk translation’ by translating equivocality associated with the novel risk into more familiar risks, which provide them with a clearer basis and guide for action. As organizations take actions to manage t..

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University of Melbourne Researchers