Ulrich Hommel and Anna Pastwa present the results of the EFMD Risk Management survey and argue that most business schools have just begun to look at this issue more seriously.
The issue of risk is receiving increased attention in business schools. They have increasingly to rely on entrepreneurially generated funds to finance growth, to compensate for reduced government appropriations and to support cross-subsidisation schemes in wider university structures. These revenue streams are exposed to various forms of market risk.
Oversight bodies such as the British HEFCE and the Australian TEQSA have begun to look at risk more seriously and have amended their audit frameworks to include the risk-based regulation of higher education institutions, which has a trickle-down effect on business schools.
EFMD’s accreditation service EQUIS has recognised the growing relevance of risk taking and has amended its standards to ensure that the quality review captures any issues threatening the economic and reputational viability of applicant institutions.
These changes were designed as an encouragement for business schools to think about managing their risk exposures more explicitly. Yet very little is known about the actual state of risk management in business schools. To answer this, EFMD has conducted a survey of business school deans to gauge the degree of organisational formalisation of the risk management function in terms of policies. The feedback provides a snapshot of achievements and remaining actions needed.
The questionnaire-based survey was carried out in the last quarter of 2012, coupled with the annual Deans Barometer survey. A total of 708 deans from the EFMD business schools network were invited to participate.
More than 200 responses have been received with 103 questionnaires being sufficiently complete to qualify for further analysis (a response rate of 14.3%).
Most of the schools taking part in the survey were based in Europe (57%), 12% in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 12% North America, 7% Central and South America, 13% Asia and 5% Australia and Oceania. This allocation matches the geographical distribution of the EFMD membership.
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