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Abstract

Risk management is recognised as an essential contributor to business and project success, since it focuses on addressing uncertainties in a proactive manner in order to minimise threats, maximise opportunities, and optimise achievement of objectives. There is wide convergence and international consensus on the necessary elements for a risk management process, and this is supported by a growing range of capable tools and techniques, an accepted body of knowledge, an academic and research base, and wide experience of practical implementation across many industries. But the most significant critical success factor for effective risk management is the one most often lacking: an appropriate and mature risk culture. Research indicates that the attitude of individuals and organisations has a significant influence on whether risk management delivers what it promises. It is inherent in the nature of risk management for it to be exposed to sources of explicit and implicit bias, since all elements of the risk process are performed by individuals and groups of people whose risk attitudes affect every aspect of risk management. Risk attitudes exist at individual and group levels, and these can be assessed and described with some degree of accuracy. Sources of bias can also be diagnosed, exposing their influence on the risk process. It is important to understand risk attitudes and the impact they can have on the risk management process if their presence and influence are not recognised or managed. The paper intend to present the main characteristics of the risk attitude, the relation between risk attitude and effectiveness of risk management and what are the best tools for understanding risk attitude.

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