Studying risk governance using a design perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A conceptual framework for systematically studying and analysing risk governance is introduced. The framework, which is influenced by design science, is particularly valuable for relating the way risks are handled at the micro-level to aspects at the macro-level. Three central concepts are included in the framework: purpose, function, and form. A function is used to denote what a specific system does, or needs to do, to achieve the purpose of a risk governance process. The purpose of a risk governance process answers the question why it exists, or why it should be introduced, while the form denotes how the functions are, or should be, carried out in practice. The framework is especially useful as a basis for identifying problems related to a fragmentation of the risk governance process in contexts involving multiple stakeholders. Moreover, it allows descriptive, evaluative, as well as normative approaches. In this way, the framework manages to connect two central types of problems. On the one hand it addresses the problem of understanding and explaining a risk governance process (descriptive approach) and, on the other hand, the problem of constructing, or improving it (normative approach). The usefulness of the design perspective is exemplified in two cases, and the findings from both of these cases indicate a fragmentation of the risk governance process.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • design perspective, design science, risk governance, risk management, fragmentation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-98
JournalSafety Science
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch

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