Distributed sensemaking in network risk analysis

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This article responds to the call advancing risk science as an independent research field, by introducing a conceptual model for risk analysis based on distributed sensemaking. Significant advances in recent decades have expanded the use of risk analysis to almost every organization globally. Continued improvements have been made to our understanding of risk, placing a wide range of contexts under organizational control. This article argues that four dimensions are central in how organizations make sense of uncertainty in their context and hence do risk analysis: the activities the organization engages in, their sensory systems, the role and competence of individuals, and the ability to coordinate information through organizational structures. The structure enables insight into the decision-making process and the dimensions contributing to how organizations perceive risks and uncertainty in a given context. Three examples from the Arctic context illustrate the network risk analysis model's practical application and how it will expose weaknesses in these organizations’ risk analysis and decision-making processes. Finally, the article discusses sensemaking in network risk analysis and how such an approach supports organizations’ ability to perceive, collect, process, and decide on changes in context.

TidsskriftRisk Analysis
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)244-259
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2023


  • risk management


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