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“Rethinking Reputational Risk” – An Excellent New Book

I have really enjoyed this new book from Anthony Fitzsimmons and Derek Atkins, and would thoroughly recommend it to all those with an interest in risk management.

The title is actually somewhat misleading, suggesting a narrow focus on reputation management; whereas the book actually takes a very broad look at a wide variety of behavioural and organisational issues that can lead to crises.  The first section provides a very readable summary of current thinking on areas such as reputation, culture and causation of crises; considering everything in the context of the organisation’s stakeholders.  The second section is, to my mind, the most valuable; with a fine selection of up to date crisis case studies, including:

  • BP Deepwater Horizon;
  • Volkswagen; and
  • Mid Staffs NHS Foundation Trust.

The final section then attempts to translate the insights from the previous two sections into a practical risk management framework.  This is where I find the authors’ use of the term “reputational risk” most problematic and, in particular, their proposals for a “reputational risk management system”.  Nevertheless, I think the authors have made a very valuable contribution in highlighting an array of behavioural and organisational issues to a wider audience.