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Does the hiring of chief risk officers align with the COSO/ISO enterprise risk management frameworks?

Erastus Karanja (North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management

ISSN: 1834-7649

Article publication date: 7 August 2017



There are two main industry-sanctioned enterprise risk management (ERM) models, that is, COSO 2004 and ISO 31000:2009, that firms refer to when implementing ERM programs. Taken together, the two ERM models specify that firms should implement ERM programs to meet a strategic need, improve operations and reporting or to comply with government regulations or industry best practices. In addition, the focus of ERM implementation should be either the subsidiary, business unit, division, firm/entity or global level. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether firms are aligning their ERM implementations with these tenets: strategy, operations, reporting, compliance and the level of implementation.


The proxy for ERM implementation is the hiring of a Chief Risk Officer (CRO). The research data come from a sample of 122 US firms that issued a press release following the hiring of a CRO between 2010 and 2014. The press releases were retrieved and aggregated through content analysis in LexisNexis Academic.


The results reveal that many ERM implementations are occurring at the firm/entity level, and with the exception of reporting, firms consider ERM to be a strategic firm resource capable of improving business operations and compliance initiatives.


There is a dearth of research studies specifically investigating whether ERM programs adopted by firms are aligned with the specification of COSO 2004 and ISO 31000:2009 frameworks. The apparent lack of a clear understanding of the alignment between the firm ERM programs and the industry’s ERM frameworks may limit the development and implementation of ERM and the eventual realization of the benefits associated with a successful ERM implementation.



Karanja, E. (2017), "Does the hiring of chief risk officers align with the COSO/ISO enterprise risk management frameworks?", International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 274-295.



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