Working In Uncertainty

Surveys and experiments

Current studies - please participate!

Please help by participating in current surveys and experiments running on this website. Results are posted once enough data has been collected.

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Reports of completed surveys

# Study report Highlights

Integration in future risk management guidance and standards: results from a Risk Improvement Group survey (April 2015)

Reveals a surprisingly progressive attitude to using a broader range of methods for risk management and clarifies the concerns that professional risk managers have about the idea of making risk management an integral part of management.


Results of a survey on ‘risk management’ (January 2014)

Shows that most people think ‘risk management’ should not imply a particular method of managing risk, though they think other people usually have risk-listing in mind.


Results of a survey on ISO 31000:2009 and future editions (June 2013)
(Note: there is no Working In Uncertainty menu on this page.)

Done with assistance from BSI, the IRM, and to inform TC/262, the ISO technical committee on risk management. This survey asked many varied questions and accessed new pools of respondents.


Results of a survey on ‘risk’ decision support (March 2013)

Reveals the characteristics people would like in decision support materials for decisions about dealing with risk.


Results of a survey on corporate programmes to improve ‘risk management’ (May 2012)

Identified a number of design features that make programmes for improved working in uncertainty more or less attractive.


Results of a survey on the locations of uncertainty (April 2012)

Being able to deal with uncertainty around five different aspects of decision making was seen as important or crucial by 79%+ of respondents. The most highly rated for importance is also one on which little authoritative guidance has been published.


The Reality of Risk: culture, behaviour, and the role of accountants (January 2012)

This was funded by ACCA. The many important findings concern the role of accountants in improving risk management, and their willingness to do so.


Results of a survey on ‘project risk management’ (October 2011)

People preferred integrated project risk management, in principle, and also thought that project risk management should address all significant project decisions, not just those concerning actions seen as ‘responses’ to ‘risks’.


Results of a survey on ‘integrated risk management’ (September 2011)

Found that people recognize and much prefer more integrated approaches to managing ‘risk’. None of the preferred approaches involved making a list of ‘risks’.


Results of a survey on risk phrases (March 2010)

This classic survey established clearly the problems of using the phrase ‘risk appetite’.


What circumstances are relevant to decision making under uncertainty? (March 2009)

Respondents recognized a variety of circumstances as being relevant to rational decision making under uncertainty, but for most the personality of the decision maker (including personality-driven ‘risk attitude’) was not relevant.


Two studies of risk registers (2008)

These demonstrate the large extent of impact spread and causal relationships between ‘risks’ in a selection published risk registers.


Alternative risk lists (September 2007)

Most people understand that, if a list of risks is to be written, there are alternative, logically valid lists that could be chosen. We define the list and some designs are better than others.


Favourite ways to characterise risks (June 2007)

Showed that people do not have a preference for ‘Probability × Impact’ ratings despite them being the most familiar style. Decision makers also like specific numbers.


Results of an experiment in risk and uncertainty communication (December 2006)

The tested some alternative ways to let someone know in conversation how uncertain you are about something.


Individual differences in risk and uncertainty management (May 2006)

Looked at preferences for different actions in some classic scenarios involving risk/uncertainty.


Research on risk management within performance management (February 2006)

A survey of performance management practice in government departments and agencies.


Results of an experiment in risk and uncertainty management (October 2004)

This revealed a useful difference in the way people respond to different phrases that might be used to elicit a structure for perceived risk. In short, ‘areas of uncertainty’ is a great phrase to use.


Report of a survey on recommendations by auditors and risk managers (August 2004)

Found that auditors and risk managements who make recommendations on ‘internal control’ and ‘risk management’ also recognize the value of other ways to improve working in uncertainty.


Results of a survey on embedded risk management (May 2004)

Found that people preferred approaches to managing ‘risk’ that were based on core management activities rather than a separate system.


Results of a survey on pay and sustainability (May 2004)

Showed that many people would be prepared to work for lower pay if their working conditions were pleasanter in ways that also promote sustainability.


Evidence for an efficient approach to evaluating controls effectiveness (April 2004)

Showed that most people recognise the high evidence value of a type of evidence ignored in auditing theory. In fact, the ignored evidence was the most persuasive in this study.


Results of a performance management survey (February 2004)

Revealed which arguments in favour of the Beyond Budgeting management model people find most and least persuasive.

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