Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Business risk management handbook

February 2011

Linda Spedding & Adam Rose. Elsevier/ Cima Publishing. Hardback. 738 pgs. £95

This monster effort is nothing if not comprehensive. Weighing in at more than 700 pages, it’s more encyclopedia than handbook.

For once, though, prodigious length seems to impart authority and enhance overall usefulness.

Crucially, the book has the merit of being written not by a team of people but by just two authors – Linda Spedding, an international environmental lawyer, and Adam Rose, a senior researcher at PIRC – with some smaller and generally anonymous contributions from six others.

It therefore avoids the common fault of disjointedness that accompanies so many of these types of books, and its chapters flow coherently and logically from one subject to another.

Peppered throughout with best practice case studies, its underlying premise is that businesses need to establish a ‘sustainable enterprise risk management’ process that encapsulates not just traditional and mainstream areas of risk management, but those associated with sustainability issues such as business culture and human rights impacts.

Topics like these, it argues very precisely, put at risk 12.5 per cent of the average organization’s market value and therefore need addressing with as much vigour as mainstream risks such as business disruption and systems failures.

Anyone delving into this thorough handling of the subject should have no excuse for future inaction.

Peter Mason

Peter Mason | Global | Risk management

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