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Leadership, governance and the mitigation of risk: a case study

Jim Rooney (University of Sydney Business School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Suresh Cuganesan (University of Sydney Business School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales Australia)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 2 February 2015




The purpose of this study is to examine how managers in financial institutions satisfy themselves of the effectiveness of risk mitigation strategy and management control. It studies the co-opting of accounting tools within a single financial institution case study, examining the recursive and emergent characteristics of risk management practice.


Adopting a field study approach within the strategy-as-practice perspective, the paper provides insights into the role of actor perceptions of risk and accounting as a calculative practice in the adaptive enactment of risk strategy.


Results highlight the interactions between risk management strategy, management controls and actor interests at Lehman Brothers. The actions and reactions of risk management decision-makers such as Executive Committee and Board members are examined to better understand the role of accounting and leadership.

Research limitations/implications

Results of this study may not be generalised beyond this single case study.

Practical implications

The paper emphasises that concern for the social relations and the performative interests of actors in a risk management network needs to be understood and considered in accounting research. It is argued that the market prices of tradable financial asset will continue to be opaque without these insights.


This study explores an under-researched topic in the accounting literature in examining how management controls are affected by and, in turn, affect risk strategising.



Rooney, J. and Cuganesan, S. (2015), "Leadership, governance and the mitigation of risk: a case study", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 132-159.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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