Understanding public sector risk : a study into the nature and assessment of strategic risk in English local authorities
The research establishes a context-specific sense of strategic risk in English local authorities. Uncertainty is found to be central to understanding risk but current practice is found not to reflect this, presenting risks with a false and misleading precision. Risks are identified to have varying, multiple characteristics. Risk assessment models which embrace these characteristics are developed and tested using a consistently applied bespoke risk data set developed for the research. Issues of control confidence and the betrayal of stakeholder trust are explored within these risk assessment models. The research proposes an accessible, fuzzy risk assessment model with an ability to inform decision-making beyond the mere ranking of risks provided by current practice approaches.