Risk, Resources and Structures: Experimental Evidence of a New Cost of Risk Component – The Structural Risk Component and Implications for Enterprise Risk Management

Jesper Lyng Jensen, Claus Due Ponsaing, Sof Thrane

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In this article, we describe a basic mechanism by which risk events can induce indirect value losses to the risk owner: a value loss arising from a risk event interfering with activities that have no logical connection with the risk event other than that of having the same owner; a mechanism we have named Structural Risk. This effect is caused by the occurrence of a resource fluctuation which challenges the risk owner's ability to gain control of adequate resources, thus forcing the risk owner to prioritize and terminate other activities and projects. In this process value is destroyed. The risk cost component presented in this article, whose existence has previously been argued in the risk literature, has been documented in a single factorial experiment with a unique simulation device named Risky Business. Through our experiments, we have shown that the first response of subjects exposed to large risk events is to mitigate the consequences of the risk event through negotiating with the environment. If such negotiations fail, the subject will have no alternative but to let other activities and projects under direct control of the risk owner suffer. We end the article with conjectures and implications for ERM, suggesting the addition of a risk resource forecast and discussing implications for four types of risk mitigation strategies: capital requirements, risk diversification, network relations and insurance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRisk Management
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)152-175
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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