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Combining Risk and Responsibility Perspectives: First Steps


  • Johannes Brinkmann



Business activity can be analyzed through a ‘risk awareness’ perspective and a ‘responsibility awareness’ perspective. However, risk and responsibility are actually interdependent. Risk-taking triggers responsibility issues and taking responsibility means risking being asked critical questions. This article suggests some first steps for combining these two perspectives conceptually. After several introductory illustrations showing how risk and responsibility issues are intertwined, the article looks separately each at risk and at responsibility. Then the argument that such perspectives could be usefully combined is elaborated further from a theoretical angle and from a practical angle, by looking at various ethical issues and by presenting paradigmatic examples of balancing or sharing risk and responsibility related to leadership, to ERM and to insurance. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Brinkmann, 2013. "Combining Risk and Responsibility Perspectives: First Steps," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(4), pages 567-583, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:112:y:2013:i:4:p:567-583
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-012-1558-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas Beschorner, 2006. "Ethical Theory and Business Practices: The Case of Discourse Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 66(1), pages 127-139, June.
    2. Johannes Brinkmann & Patrick Lentz, 2006. "Understanding Insurance Customer Dishonesty: Outline of a Moral-Sociological Approach," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 66(2), pages 177-195, June.
    3. Rawls, John, 1974. "Some Reasons for the Maximin Criterion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 141-146, May.
    4. William Lesch & Johannes Brinkmann, 2011. "Consumer Insurance Fraud/Abuse as Co-creation and Co-responsibility: A New Paradigm," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 103(1), pages 17-32, April.
    5. Nafsika Athanassoulis & Allison Ross, 2010. "A virtue ethical account of making decisions about risk," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 217-230, March.
    6. Stansbury, Jason, 2009. "Reasoned Moral Agreement: Applying Discourse Ethics within Organizations," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(01), pages 33-56, January.
    7. Gustafson, Andrew, 2000. "Making Sense of Postmodern Business Ethics," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 645-658, July.
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