Research Papers

On the Difference Between Risk as Seen From the Perspectives of the Analysts and Management

[+] Author and Article Information
Terje Aven

University of Stavanger,
4036 Stavanger, Norway
e-mail: terje.aven@uis.no

Manuscript received March 6, 2015; final manuscript received November 7, 2015; published online July 1, 2016. Assoc. Editor: James Lambert.

ASME J. Risk Uncertainty Part B 2(3), 031002 (Jul 01, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: RISK-15-1048; doi: 10.1115/1.4032002 History: Received March 06, 2015; Accepted November 07, 2015

In its general form, risk is quantitatively described by analysts by identifying a set of consequences C of an activity and using a measure Q to express the uncertainties related to these consequences. This risk description (C,Q) is based on a background knowledge K, including assumptions on which the (C,Q) assessment was found. The purpose of the present paper is to draw attention to the fact that risk from the perspective of the decision-maker necessarily needs to see beyond (C,Q); judgments of the background knowledge K of the analysts are an integral part of the management’s and the decision-maker’s risk description and evaluation. Thus, this risk description of the analyst is (C,Q|K), whereas the management and the decision-maker need to reflect on the unconditional description (C,Q,K), seeing K as containing potential risk sources. Ways of characterizing this risk are presented and discussed. An example from the oil and gas industry is used to illustrate the discussions and show the importance for the practice of risk assessment and management.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Risk , Risk assessment
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Consequence and probability score of oil-leak scenario

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Fig. 2

Consequences, probability, and strength of background knowledge for the leakage example, reflecting the unclarified assumption

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Fig. 3

Consequences, probability, and strength of knowledge for the hydrocarbon leakage example, when integrating judgments from a second analysis group

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Fig. 4

Role of the decision-maker’s review in the decision-making process (based on Hansson and Aven [14])

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Fig. 5

Risk decision model inspired by Rosqvist and Tuominen [15]



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