A resilience-based approach to risk assessments: building resilient organizations under Arctic conditions

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Reliability and higher levels of safety are thought to be achieved by using systematic approaches to managing risks. The assessment of risks has produced a range of different approaches to assessing these uncertainties, presenting models for how risks affect individuals or organizations. Contemporary risk assessment tools based on this approach have proven difficult for practitioners to use as tools for tactical and operational decision making. This article presents an alternative to these assessments by utilizing a resilience perspective, arguing that complex systems are inclined to variety and uncertainty regarding the results they produce and are therefore prone to systemic failures. A continuous improvement approach is a source of reliability when managing complex systems and is necessary to manage varieties and uncertainties. For an organization to understand how risk events occur, it is necessary to define what is believed to be the equilibrium of the system in time and space. By applying a resilience engineering (RE) perspective to risk assessment, it is possible to manage this complexity by assessing the ability to respond, monitor, learn, and anticipate risks, and in so doing to move away from the flawed frequency and consequences approach. Using a research station network in the Arctic as an example illustrates how an RE approach qualifies assessments by bridging risk assessments with value‐creation processes. The article concludes by arguing that a resilience‐based risk assessment can improve on current practice, including for organizations located outside the Arctic region.
TidsskriftRisk Analysis
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)2399-2412
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 2020