Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Navigating the practice : an exploration of enterprise risk management at the Port of London Authority
Author: Hendy, Philip John
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 9411
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores the intra-organisational dynamics behind the increasingly prevalent adoption of private-sector style enterprise risk management (ERM) practices by public-sector organisations. The core tenets of ERM are predicated on the idea that a diverse range of organisational issues and challenges can be processed and managed through a set of standardised, universal tools and techniques. Neo-institutional theory holds that broad, macro level pressures act upon organisations at a field level creating pressures to adopt homogeneous structures and processes as a means of gaining and maintaining organisational legitimacy. However, outside of the notion of a range of strategic decoupling responses, relatively little research has been undertaken on how different areas of an organisation actually interpret and apply the institutionalised practice of risk management across its functional departments. To that end, this thesis looks at how the Port of London Authority is operationalising a newly adopted risk management policy as it continues to manage societal and organisational risks. Through the use of 41 semi-structured interviews, document analysis and participant observation, the study explores why and how employees from functionally disparate areas of the organisation utilise risk management practices. The study focuses on the organisational, institutional and cultural dynamics that drive and shape an employee’s understanding of what ERM is meant to achieve and how best to go about implementing it. The findings suggest that employees decoupled the ERM practice differentially across the organisation’s departments as a means of ‘organisational conservatism’. The research presents new knowledge in regards to how the Port of London Authority relied on three distinct ‘if-then’ logics as a means to decouple ERM from its intended outcome of managing risk across the organisation to one that serves to protect and reinforce existing organisational arrangements and rationalities. This process of organisational conservatism enabled departments to reinforce their identities, increase their organisational standing and substantiate past actions. In essence, the organisation adapted ERM to reinforce and justify existing practices as a means to become more certain about what it already knows, rather than reduce the effects of uncertainty in achieving the organisational objectives.
Supervisor: Rothstein, Henry Frederick ; Lofstedt, Ragnar Ernst Vilhelm Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available