Lessons of success and failure: Practicing risk communication at government agencies
Publication date: October 2019Source: Safety Science, Volume 118Author(s): Åsa BoholmAbstractThe study looks at government agency officials’ experiences of what characterizes successful and failed risk communication. It is theoretically positioned within a practice based approach to risk communication and management as an organizational activity, or “risk work”. Risk work in organizations build on sense making, alignment to commonly agreed prudent practices, and learning from experience. The empirical method consists of interviews with practitioners working with risk communication at six government agencies in Sweden, in the policy areas of food, chemicals, environmental protection, housing and building, traffic, and contingency planning and management. The study identifies several factors that according to the practitioners contribute to success and failure of risk communication work practice: strategic planning and decision making; inter-organizational collaboration and assigning of responsibility, predominantly with other agencies but also with external stakeholders; scientific knowledge and understanding of risk issues; interactions with the media; alignment of risk management; and formulating and disseminating the message. An additional finding is the tendency of the practitioners to make attributions in terms of causal explanations, internal or external to the organization, of success and failure in performing risk communication.
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Readers who found these articles interesting may also like to read these papers that can be found in recent issues of our sister publications, Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Operative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
Re: Yang CJ, Kumar A, Gulack BC, Mulvihill MS, Hartwig MG, Wang X, et al. Long-term outcomes after lobectomy for non–small cell lung cancer when unsuspected pN2 disease is found: A National Cancer Data Base analysis. J Thoracic Cardiovasc Surg. 2016;151:1380-8.
Dr M. Jacobs (Baltimore, Md). The Norwood procedure, the most commonly performed open operation in the neonatal age group, was developed approximately 40 years ago by Dr William Norwood. This operation has probably been the subject of as many or more investigations or reports than any other operation for congenital heart disease, yet Dr Mascio and colleagues stated accurately in their article that the principles of the Norwood operation remain esse ntially the same today as when Norwood first conceived it.