Flexibility and Resilience in Corporate Decision Making: A New Sustainability-Based Risk Management System in Uncertain Times
Risk management plays a key role in uncertain times, preventing corporations from acting rashly and incorrectly, allowing them to become flexible and resilient. A global turbulence such as the COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on individual companies and entire economic sectors, raising the question of whether a paradigm shift is necessary, in order to enable a new cycle of development that is much environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. This environmental and socioeconomic context of profound uncertainty forces organizations to consider more carefully the risk factors affecting their business continuity, as well as how these factors relate to sustainability issues. However, there is a gap in knowledge about how risk management systems relate to sustainability management systems, and how both of them exert influence on business performance, especially from a theoretical point of view. The aim of this study is to address this gap, by developing a new interpretative framework for the analysis of risk management strategies in organizations. This approach has been identified in economic hermeneutics as an innovative methodological tool to improve the knowledge of risk and design the most appropriate management strategies. The paper provides two main results: the first one is the construction of a theoretical model that relates risk management to sustainability management; the second one is an operational framework of multidimensional risk assessment useful for analysis at different levels (business, competitive scenario and system). Finally, the model also makes it possible to carry out a sustainability assessment through risk evaluation in the perspective of the sustainable development goals.
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