Date of Award

5-3-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Conrad Ciccotello

Second Advisor

Lars Mathiassen

Third Advisor

Harold Weston

Abstract

Enterprise risk management (ERM) is a widely studied management control process, representing an important advancement from the traditional methods by which firms control the risks they face. This study steps back from attempts to quantify the relationship between ERM and firm performance. Instead, it explores how non-financial institutions with significant time and resource commitments to ERM configure those resources to effectuate a downside-upside duality as ERM is adopted, using for the first time in ERM research the theoretical lens of ambidexterity as a dynamic capability. This duality is the simultaneous engagement in mitigating existing and emerging risks while pursuing new value contributions from risk management processes. Empirical evidence indicates that the downside-upside duality is asymmetric, and challenges exist in quantifying the upside. The upside value component is most closely associated with raising the level of the risk discourse in firms. This is accomplished structurally by establishing new ERM-focused organizational subunits, and contextually by stretching capabilities. Dynamic capabilities emerge as firms sense, seize and reconfigure resources in the operationalization of ERM to supplant core competencies associated with traditional modes of risk management. Practitioners will gain from this research a richer understanding of the fit, form and function of ERM informed by empirical data and extrinsic theory.

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