Managers’ perceptions of risk culture in a public skills development funding organisation
Magwentshu, Pilasande W.A.
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This study sought to understand the perceptions of management about risk culture in a public skills funding organisation. A qualitative interview-based research method was followed, with thematic analysis applied to determine the views of eight executive and senior managers in the organisation about four elements of risk management, namely, the legislative framework, risk culture, risk understanding and the role of risk management. It was discovered that the legislative risk framework was well understood by senior management, although not implemented as required. However, there was no uniform risk culture in the organisation. The immature risk culture may result in weak risk management controls in the organisation and vulnerability of the organisation to risks that could have been mitigated. Questions related to the understanding of risk yielded differing views from the participants – although risk analysis was done it is not thorough enough and the top risks mentioned differed between participants and from the risk register. The role of risk management was well defined and understood to belong to everyone in the organisation. Going forward, participants felt that risk should be a standing item on the relevant executive committee agendas and that more risk awareness training and workshops would be required. Valuable recommendations were obtained from participants to improve risk culture in the organisation, including the need for clarity on roles beyond management.