Risk systemicity : promoting interdisciplinary working in cities

Eden, Colin and Pyrko, Igor and Howick, Susan (2018) Risk systemicity : promoting interdisciplinary working in cities. In: EURAM 2018: 18th Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management, 2018-06-19 - 2018-06-22, University of Iceland.

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    Abstract

    As cities continue to play an increasingly important role in the global economy, managing them is becoming more complex and interdisciplinary. With a rising number of new risks and high demands on critical infrastructures such as transport and healthcare, cities are affected by resource constraints. At the same time, the complexity of growing cities has led to increasing silo working, which makes it more difficult to orchestrate appropriate risk assessment. The challenge that is faced is that cities are subject to more complex networks of interacting risks which link across different risk areas. Effective interdisciplinary working is therefore necessary. However, although the importance of talking across silos has been a consistent plea, its operationalization, especially in the context of risk assessment in cities, remains a challenge. We argue that taking a perspective of risk systemicity, where risks are seen as forming complex networks of interacting, interdisciplinary risks, can contribute to the existing research and practice of risk assessment in public management. In order to support cities in talking about risk systemicity across ‘traditional’ silos, we introduce a systemic risk evaluation tool which serves as an interactive boundary object in facilitated interdisciplinary group meetings.