Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 2 Issue 3 (September 1994), Pages 123-186

The Future for Risk Research (pages 146-156)

Public interest in issues of safety and risk is growing in intensity, legislation in the health and safety area is becoming more extensive and expectations about how managers should perform when confronting a variety of different risks are rising. All of these developments serve to give more contemporary prominence to the notion of risk; a prominence which brings several difficulties in its train. Unsurprisingly, the term has developed political and cultural overtones, for the more widely studied it becomes, the more highly is it contested.

This article reviews a number of current concerns about risk and considers their implications for risk research and for some future aspects of risk management. Ideas about risk are first set in context by relating them, in a very general fashion, to other ways of looking to the future. A number of ironies of the contemporary enthusiasm for risk are noted and three contemporary cases of risk management are discussed. Finally, some implications of current developments for managers concerned with risk are briefly reviewed and some future areas for research are identified.

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