Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2238417
 


 



The Dispositif of Risk Management: Reconstructing Risk Management after the Financial Crisis


Christian Huber


University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Helmut Schmidt Universität

Tobias Scheytt


University of Innsbruck - Institute for Organisation and Learning

March 23, 2013

Management Accounting Research, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Despite its dubious role during the global financial crisis of 2008, risk management has continued its expansion. This paper addresses the question why risk management, in the face of its evident failure to manage risks during the crisis, has retained its importance even today. We build on the existing critical literature on risk management (Power, 2007) and advance it by introducing a more rigorous consideration of power. We refer to the notion of the “permanent state of exception” as conceptualized by the Italian social theorist Giorgio Agamben (1998, 2005) in order to argue that risk is a powerful social category as it reflects a potential exception, challenging norms as well as normalizing forms of control. We conclude that a dispositif of risk management, an assemblage of institutions, regulations and models, lies at the heart of risk management. This dispositif provides elites engaged in risk management with an argument that allows them – in exceptional situations – to take extraordinary measures which cannot be rescinded after the initial state of exception has ended. The logic of the state of exception can be used as a discursive resource and adds to, but also gradually replaces, other forms of management control. Our study contributes to management control theory by focusing on post-disciplinary forms of control and provides a novel focus on how elites use management control systems for their own interests.

Keywords: Risk Management, Management Control, Financial Crisis, Agamben, State of Exception

JEL Classification: M4

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: March 24, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Huber, Christian and Scheytt, Tobias, The Dispositif of Risk Management: Reconstructing Risk Management after the Financial Crisis (March 23, 2013). Management Accounting Research, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2238417

Contact Information

Christian Huber (Contact Author)
University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Helmut Schmidt Universität ( email )
Faculty of Economics
Holstenhofweg 85
Hamburg, 22043
Germany
Tobias Scheytt
University of Innsbruck - Institute for Organisation and Learning ( email )
Universitaetsstrasse 15
Innsbruck, A - 6020
Austria
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