From risk management to (corporate) social responsibility

Sytze F. Kingma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The following reflections stem from my personal experiences in risk research rather than from a systematic literature review. This research note therefore should be understood as personal preferences and observations that are not intended as a kind of research agenda, although they perhaps might be of some use for such an endeavor. My academic experience with risk is grounded – and on that note also biased – first by a sociological concern with risk (e.g., Douglas & Wildavsky, 1982; Beck, 1992; Luhmann, 1993; Beck, 1994; Furedi, 2002; Lyng, 2005), and second by an empirical engagement for half of my academic career with the institutional field of organized gambling (e.g., Kingma, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2008a, 2010, 2013, 2015). For instance, I quickly learned that gambling not only deals with individual risk-taking behavior but, more interesting, at the same time with risk-taking by organizations and governments who commodify, legalize and liberalize this peculiar social activity (which on closer inspection is difficult to classify as either productive or consumptive). This became particularly salient from the 1970s onward when gambling in many jurisdictions gradually transformed from an illegal and deviant activity into a more or less respectable part of the consumer society. In other words, gambling became part of our “institutionalized risk-environment” (Giddens, 1990). In this context, gambling risks such as problem gambling assume the character of “normal accidents” (Perrow, 1999), and gambling organizations, particularly casinos, develop the features of “high-reliability organizations” (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2001) with comparably high levels of risk-awareness and protective measures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Risk, Crisis and Emergency Management
EditorsRobert P. Gephart, Jr., Chet Miller, Karin Svedberg Helgesson
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781315458168
ISBN (Print)9781138208865
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

eBook Published: 9 November 2018


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