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Embracing risk as a core competence: The case of CEMEX

  • Lessard, Donald
  • Lucea, Rafael
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    In this paper we argue that risk management can be an important source of competitive advantage for firms. For this to happen, managers must overcome four deep-seated notions about the management of risk: the myopic conception that risk is a collection of unconnected threats to the survival of a firm, the belief that risk management is largely a financial activity, the idea that risk management is solely a top management team task, and a blind faith that CEOs can continuously anticipate the risks that firms must address on an ongoing basis. Challenging these four misconceptions reveals that risk management can be an activity that is value creating, not just value preserving. Indeed, rather than indiscriminately shedding all types of risks, companies can develop new sources of competitive advantage by embracing those risks that they are relatively better at managing than their rivals. We illustrate our arguments by analyzing the risk management practices at CEMEX, the Mexican cement manufacturer.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 296-305

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:15:y:2009:i:3:p:296-305
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