Organizing risk: Discourse, power, and "riskification"


Published: 8Jan2016

Authors: Hardy, C., Maguire, S.

Publication: Academy of Management Review


Drawing on the work of Foucault, we develop an integrated framework for understanding how risk is organized in three different modes: prospectively, in real time, and retrospectively. We show how these modes are situated in a dominant discourse of risk that leads organizations to normalize risk in particular ways by privileging certain forms of knowledge and authorizing certain risk identities over others. In addition to identifying the common way risk is organized in each mode and showing how it is held in place by the dominant discourse, we propose alternative ways to organize risk that resist this dominant discourse, and we explain why they are difficult to enact. We then extend our analysis by theorizing how, even when it occurs, resistance to the dominant discourse of risk can contribute to "riskification," with more and more organizing undertaken in the name of risk because of intensification, discipline, and governmentality.

Read full article: Academy of Management Review, January 1, 2016

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