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Risk Management

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A Teaching Topic in Management Sciences

Risk Management

This topic explores how to identify and prioritize risks in public management, and how to develop strategies to prevent or mitigate risks. It compares and analyzes different implementation options in terms of how well they address risk. Proper risk management depends on understanding context, the strengths and weaknesses of the delivery network, and the governance and accountability framework (Toronto PPG 1007H).

Topic Learning Outcome: Students will be able to analyze and interpret policy decisions through a risk management framework.

Core Concepts associated with this Topic: Risk; Residual Risk; Risk Appetite; Risk Tolerance; Catastrophic Harms; Risk Identification; Risk Management; Risk Mitigation; Risk Profile; Risk Strategy.

Recommended Reading

Toronto PPG 1007H

Eggers, William and John O’Leary. If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government. (Harvard Business Press, Boston, 2009) Chapter 4, The Overconfidence Trap, 107-134.

Covello, Vincent and Peter Sandman, ‘Risk Communication: Evolution and Revolution’, 2001.

Sparrow, Malcolm. The Character of Harms. (Cambridge University Press, 2008) Introduction, 1-18 and Chapter 6, 101-107.

Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. (Random House: New York, 2007).

 Sample Assessment Questions:

1.) What is risk management? Why is it an important topic for public policy students to study?

2.) "In making policy decisions, governments should always aim to minimize risk." Discuss this statement in a 1-page response. You may agree, disagree, or simply provide a response to the statement that is neither an endorsement nor a rejection.


Page created by Sean Goertzen and Ben Eisen on 16 April 2015.


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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance