Risk Management Perspectives of Global Corporations


In 2018, the Institute of Risk Management partnered with the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies (CRS) at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School to produce exciting new risk management research. The publication, Risk Management Perspectives of Global Corporations, reviews the risk management practices of major organisations and determines how they are adapting to meet future challenges and opportunities, particularly those posed by rapid technological developments.

Executive summary 

Corporations are a vital component of an economy. Their health and wealth can be potent indicators of the broader state of the relevant economy and society as a whole. Crises in the private sector can provide early warning indications, and occasionally are drivers, of wider and potentially systemic failures. Within an organisation, good practices in risk management serve to avoid or respond effectively to crises, whereas poor practices may signal weaknesses. In this report, we seek to better understand the risk management perspectives and practices of global corporations.

The research presented in this report is part of the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies’ research track on corporate risk profiling. In partnership with the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), it is informed by views from risk management specialists representing both private and public sectors. The summary and narrative regarding the top risks facing corporations are the result of elicitation through a combination of individual interviews; surveys and real-time polls of audiences at workshops and focus groups; and the in-depth online 2018 Enterprise Risk Management survey. This expanse of inputs paints a broad view of the perceptions of risk at companies and their respective approaches to risk management and mitigation. The general objectives of our overall research programmes are to better understand current views, practices and mitigations of risks at corporations and how they are adapting to meet future challenges and opportunities.

 The focus and intention of this report is to better understand the perspectives and practices of risk management at global corporations. We believe that regulations, mandates, structures, and codes governing publicly listed corporations provide commonality for their foundations for risk management practices. We also refer specifically to global versus multinational corporations to focus more on the global nature of exchanges, flows, and connections versus presence at physical locations and sites. We believe the challenges and complexities of risk management brought on by the multi-dimensional nature of global operations are much more significant for this subset of organisations. While this report focusses on global corporations, we expect other organisations including those in the public sector to find considerable overlaps and value the findings.


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