A Practical Investigation into the Target Risk Culture of Corporate Real Estate Organisations in Germany

By Denise Schoenfeld.

Published by Organizational Cultures: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Risk culture describes the collective mindset and shared assumptions of individuals within an organisation. It determines behavior and collective ability to identify, assess and act on the organisation’s risks. Risk management represents a proactive approach to protect the business against developments which could jeopardise the company’s continuity. It is assumed that individuals in a risk-oriented culture behave properly and that the level of risk monitoring and controls is increased far beyond what any tool or procedure alone can accomplish. From the literature, the author has developed several key aspects that may involve risk culture such as role model, accountability and commitment that represent the conceptual basis. By either telephone interview or email survey, management representatives of corporate real estate organisations in Germany were requested to describe and explain the target risk culture by assessing the relevance of the risk culture key aspects. Surprisingly, some risk culture key aspects that have high relevance in literature such as strategy, ethics and skills, resulted in a contrary view by, and controversial discussion within, the respective management representatives.

Keywords: Risk Culture, Corporate Real Estate, Organisational Risk

Organizational Cultures: An International Journal, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp.13-20. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 367.035KB).

Denise Schoenfeld

Senior Project Manager, Strategic Expansion Management, Metro Properties Holding GmbH, Cologne, Germany

As a doctoral candidate at the University of Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, the author has been studying risk culture in the real estate environment since 2010. The research topic has aroused interest due to professional background in corporate real estate management and internal audit of large organisations in Germany. As risk management tools and processes represent the procedural and technical preconditions for an effective risk management, there is also an appropriate risk culture required by all employees on all levels of an organisation. The overall case study investigates the target risk culture, as intended by management, and the existing risk culture, determined by employee survey, in a German real estate organisation. Finally, possible measures that could mitigate any potential gap are developed and discussed by the author. The thesis is planned to be finalised by the end of 2013.