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Attitudes towards risk and decision-making within local government

Mairead Grimley (Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Kevin John Burnard (Ancell School of Business, Western Connecticut State University, Connecticut, Danbury, USA)

Continuity & Resilience Review

ISSN: 2516-7502

Article publication date: 27 November 2020

Issue publication date: 20 April 2021




This case study aims to explore the perceptions and attitudes towards risk within a UK local authority and the subsequent effects on decision-making. Through a qualitative analysis of both primary and secondary data, this study advances current understanding of the complex relationships between risk and decision-making. The study concludes by suggesting how local governments may better provide value to constituents.


This research follows a single case study approach. Data were collected through both a focused online survey and semi-structured interviews. Respondents were selected through purposive sampling in order to capture direct insights and understanding of the concepts under consideration. The study focuses on a single local authority within the UK.


Building on extant literature, this case study highlights both the individual and organisational considerations towards risk perception. Following the analysis of collected data, the study highlights the influence of risk aversion and public involvement within decision-making.


By aiming to improve and advance understanding of risk and decision-making in a local authority setting, the relevance of this research may be wider than internal organisational structures. The study provides recommendations for further research towards facilitating the inclusion of the citizen within decision-making processes.



Grimley, M. and Burnard, K.J. (2021), "Attitudes towards risk and decision-making within local government", Continuity & Resilience Review, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 37-48.



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