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Thesis etd-02242020-153402

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
email address
jubin.mowlay@ec.unipi.it, j.mowlay@gmail.com
Thesis title
Academic discipline
Course of study
tutor Prof. D'Onza, Giuseppe
  • enterprise risk management
  • erm
  • integration
  • risk
  • risk management
  • strategic management
  • strategic planning
  • strategic risk
Graduation session start date
Release date
The present research aims at investigating what elements play a role in successfully integrating risk management with strategic planning process in large Italian concept. The study was designed to answer the following four research questions:
• what is the perception of management and board members with respect to the benefit of risk management integration with strategic planning?
• what actors are relevant in successfully guarantee the integration of risk management with strategic planning according to management and board members?
• To what extent should the risk management process be integrated with strategic planning process according to management and board members?
• What risk management tools used by management and board members can support strategic planning definition?
Given the goal of the research of understanding the main factors contributing to achieve risk-strategy integration, a qualitative research appeared suitable to recognize subtle connotations and intercept the factual and holistic level (Kvale,1996).
Therefore, the research methods used consisted of 30 vis-à-vis semi-structured interviews with board members, senior managers, risk managers and internal auditors of ten non-financial companies having headquarter in Italy. Supplementary to interviews, internal documents including GRC and strategic information have been shared by interviewees and have been preliminarily analyzed.
Research evidences revealed that respondents believe that integration of risk identification is beneficial to the effectiveness of strategic plans: besides recognizing risk awareness as a source of increased rationality of strategic choices, respondents confirmed the value of risk management for risk provisions calculation and cost of capital assessment (Mikes, 2009:34). An exception is represented by those organizations that purposely convey strategic efforts on emergent strategies: here, strategic changes are the result of cumulative internal interaction or even autonomous actions of managers; hence, in such environments the probability of execution of formal planning should be highly reconsidered, and therefore strategic plans cease to be the most promising area for incorporating risk management into strategic management: instead, the integration should be pursued at the level of new emergent initiatives, where strategic alternatives are investigated and pondered as part of the divergent action of middle and senior management.
The field analysis showed as key actors in the implementation of a strategic risk management system: the board of directors in triggering the integration process, the middle and senior managers, who act as vertical integrators in strategic planning but also are directly involved in risk management activities, and the Chief Risk Officer, who enables internal interactions between risk specialists, risk owners, top management and Risk Committee, easing communication and ensuring a holistic perspective throughout the strategic risk management process.
With reference to the extent of the integration, the study confirmed previous researches’ findings (Hambrick, 1981; Wheelan & Hunger; Garg, 2003), asserting that risk management and strategic planning process should be part of an iterative process in which they shall be inputs one of the other reciprocally.
Interviews performed suggested that certain tools such as the formalization of risk appetite framework may catalyze the integration, strengthening the bonding between risk and strategy. Even the type of ratios taken into account in risk management tools may affect the effectiveness of risk integration, since evidences revealed how the overall use of quantitative ratio for risk assessment may be extremely effective in drawing the consideration of C-level executives to risk issues.
The research sheds light on governance, operating and behavioral forces preventing, jeopardizing, or favoring an effective risk management integration, and thereby reduces the ambiguity on the joint effects of several factors in the domain of corporate governance, process and organizational design, that may affect the integration.
Regarding strategic management, the research provides interesting and innovative implications for researches on the integration between risk and strategy (Mintzberg et al., 2009), discussing how strategic plan may or may not represent a promising area of integration.
Moreover, the paper contributes to the understanding of the state of art of risk management systems in the Italian market: Italy has been an under-investigated context from a risk management literature perspective, and the field analysis performed in this paper might provide meaningful insights about the extension of risk management systems in this peculiar context, as well as the risk priorities of top management and risk management.