Effective risk management is an integral aspect that contributes immensely in enhancing performance in diverse institutions. It entails a systematic management process that institutions use to protect themselves and their stakeholders from the effects of events that present extreme consequences. As well, it defines the efficiency and effectiveness with which various activities are executed in most settings. Clearly, institutions that aspire to record exemplary performance must identify and manage operational risks effectively. They must develop proper risk identification, assessment and control strategies to avert experiencing adverse effects of hazardous events as they occur. As noted by scholars, risk management is a coherent process of identifying, assessing, and controlling risks. It focuses on formulating viable strategies that hold the capacity of averting major causes of risks.
The strategies are formulated to facilitate quality delivery of services to customers (Borodzicz, 2007). Notably, risk management is a systematic process that requires effective coordination and economical application of the available resources. This ensures fair deployment and allocation of resources. This helps in fostering holistic minimization, monitoring, and control of the impact of unfortunate events. In Iraq, most companies and individuals especially in the security sector have embarked on developing viable modalities of risk management. They are keen to ensure that risk complications do not affect their operations that may in turn lead to unsatisfactory levels of service delivery. Therefore, their aim is to develop credible risk control measures that can cushion them from experiencing the severe effects of unfortunate events.
The control protocols are to facilitate risk retention, transfer, and elimination. The companies and independent service providers are putting up the measures to ensure proper elimination of possible defects within the production chain. This is essential since the achievement of quality services at all levels of operations cannot be possible without holistic elimination of the evident defects within the activity centers. In particular, individuals who provide security services or who work in the security sector should always manage the risks that they are exposed to effectively. They must understand the evident risks that security sector has and how they can mitigate them (Bogal, 2013). They must also be able to weigh up situations, establish the existence of inherent risks or threats and plan on how to execute risk reduction plans. Indeed, security sector is a sensitive field that presents many challenges to service providers and clients.
Risks that are encountered in the sector are severe as evident in Iraq since they can lead to death of individuals especially in cases where robbery with violence occurs. Similarly, the risks that are experienced in the sector are so traumatizing, expose individuals to severe injuries and physical deformation. They can also expose service providers to serious health complications since they promote contraction of certain diseases, thus affect their performance power. This explains why security service providers should operate under clear guidelines and strive to avoid risks. They should formulate clear contractual policies and terms of service. This is vital in ensuring deployment of security officers to workstations that require relevant services that they hold. This paper explores how security providers can use different risk management strategies to retain, transfer, reduce, and eliminate diverse types in risks. It adopts a security service provider in Bagdad that focuses its potentials in delivering services to diplomats, British embassy, and World Bank officials.
Relevance and purpose of the study
This paper provides credible information that appertains to the imperativeness of risk management in various institutions and work environments. It is set with an aim to provide quality information to enable managers and individuals in various sectors to make decisions that are viable and that can contribute in mitigating the effects of diverse events. Purposely, the study adopts security environment as the work setting under study where an independent security service provider’s risks issues are highlighted. The security service provider who operates in Iraq is under obligation to provide sufficient protection to diplomats who work at the British embassy in Bagdad including visitors. The provider is also under obligation to ensure that their safety is not under compromise.
Variably, the paper provides information on how risk management strategies can be used to transfer, retain, reduce, and contribute in eliminating different types of risks. This will create awareness on how institutions and individuals can transfer, retain, and reduce various types’ risks that may threaten to impede effective service delivery. The paper also covers the significance of risk identification, assessment, and control. Consequently, it analyses the principles of security risk assessment and administration with an aim of examining how the principles help in promoting quality service delivery. This will enable security providers to uphold basic operating best practices that are fundamental in ensuring effective delivery of services in the sensitive sector.
Description of work environment
Most empirical studies show that security sector remains the most volatile and sensitive field to work in especially with the advancement of technology. The studies show that security providers are exposed to various risks that compromise the quality of services that they render to clients. In particular, the providers have been facing technological risks that include fraud, information leakages, privacy breaches, and exposures as evident in Bagdad (Borodzicz, 2007). Similarly, the risks have impeded social integration among individuals in diverse settings. This is apparent since privacy breaches have made individuals to lose trust between each other. Indeed, working in a security environment or as an effective close protection officer requires determination, dedication, proper problem solution strategies, and high level of integrity.
It also requires individuals to know their operating boundaries, what is expected of them, their key roles, and how they are supposed to relate with clients. Consequently, it requires proper understanding of the nature of work and the evident dynamics that the working environment presents including safety issues. This kind of preparation is mandatory to enable security service providers such as those who provide diplomatic protection at the British embassy in Bagdad to execute satisfactory services. It is to enable them deliver tailor-made services to consumers without breaching their rights. Understanding the sector and its dynamics is also important to enable security providers to establish areas that are regarded as insecure to enable them prepare adequately when they are to visit such places with clients (Borodzicz, 2007).
As indicated, security apparatus face different challenges in various settings. This is evident since security risks are instigated by varied factors that include poverty levels, unemployment, technology, and inferior social integration. In Bagdad, security providers have been facing severe challenges and risks that require proper mitigation. The risks have been exposing security service providers to death, contraction of industrial diseases and severe physical impairment. This has been a problem because of the high insecurity levels in Iraq that is fueled by political and social instability. The nation has been facing internal conflicts for along time and in recent past, it was engaged in a war with the US. The war that was to face out criminal elements and al-Qaida sympathizers did expose the country to severe security breaches. The high level of political and social instability has made the provision of quality security to various individuals including diplomats very difficult.
This is because security providers must first ensure and continuously execute thorough groundwork assessment to establish the state of affairs in the surrounding locations. This has been a problem since the process of executing such assessments is expensive and individual service providers cannot manage. According to Bogal (2013), providing quality security services in Bagdad has been a tricky and expensive affair especially with the existence of al-Qaida sympathizers. It is difficult to know an enemy or a friend in the nation because of deteriorated trust between individuals. Similarly, it is difficult to predict the frequency with which hazardous exposures may occur and the amount of probable loses. This explains why the adoption of viable and sustainable risk management strategies should be advanced in the nation to facilitate individual’s safety as they execute their daily activities. That is the security providers should find and formulate amicable modalities to ensure coherent transfer, avoidance, and reduction of negative effects of risks.
Risk management, discussion of risk retention, reduction, and elimination strategies including how they contribute or used in mitigating various types of risks
Imperatively, institutions and independent protection officers who operate in the security sector should adopt effective risk management strategies to promote sanity in service delivery. They should be adopted in consideration of legal obligations, work ethics, and cultural practices with an aim of mitigating the effects of hazardous exposures. The stakeholders in the sector should understand that risk management strategies are instrumental in lowering the frequency of occurrence of adverse events (Bogal, 2013). Firstly, the strategies ensure systematic elimination of defects within various levels of service delivery. The strategies also enhance safety of individuals by promoting frequent security surveillance and patrols to counter probable threats.
Thirdly, the strategies should be adopted to avert information leakages that can compromise security of individuals and commercial entities. This is important since leakage of information about various phenomenon’s or individuals potentials compromises the quality of security that one can receive. This is a challenge since disclosure of certain confidential information about a person or business dealings may facilitate the execution of an enemy’s ill motive. Therefore, it is prudent for individuals and security providers to manage essential information with immense confidentiality.
For instance, information about diplomats and high-ranking official’s itinerary and movement plans should be handled with great care. Such information should not be disclosed to unauthorized individuals who may use them to plan for sporadic attacks on the diplomats. In most settings proper management of information about various events and diary details of top officials are held confidentially as an avoidance measure to diverse risks. This helps in ensuring proper protection of diplomats and other society individuals since it remains a credible security safeguard. According to Bogal (2013), it is prudent for managers in various institutions and independent service providers particularly in Iraq to formulate effective risk management strategies. The strategies should be designed well, be ethically relevant and culturally acceptable.
Fundamental strategies that they should consider adopting include transfer of risk to other parties, risk avoidance, and systematic reduction of probable hazardous events including their negative effects. These strategies apply differently to various types of risks or exposures. Therefore, managers are under obligation to assess or determine the type of risk that exists in their working environment before selecting a risk management approach. This is essential in promoting the adoption of a risk management strategy that holds the capacity of providing amicable solutions to the prevailing situation (Bogal, 2013). That is, it enables individuals to choose the best strategy for dealing with each type of risk. Firstly, risk transfer is a risk management strategy that has widely been used by firms to manage the effects of diverse events. It has been widely used due to its flexibility and the capacity to facilitate recovery of loses through third parties who are normally known as insurers.
The strategy that is used in cases when an entity lack the requisite capacity for example, manpower or skills to manage its own risks is based on a risk transfer principle where one pays another to assume all or partial effects of a risk incase of occurrence. Generally, risk transfer entails paying for an entity especially insurance companies an agreed sum of money to facilitate recovery of any lose that may occur. Notably, it remains an effective strategy of risk management that enables individuals to be compensated for damages so long as the evident risk occurrences are within the terms of agreement.
Risk transfer is a strategy of managing risk that can be used in diverse fields of operation including security sector. It entails systematic movement of risk from one business to another. Security officials or providers can transfer the eminent risk that they are likely to face in the course of duty to third parties. For instance, security firms or individual providers can secure comprehensive risk cover against animal attack, terror attack, and car accidents among others. The comprehensive covers should to be taken for both security providers and clients with an aim of averting the effects of risks such as lose of life and physical injuries
In Bagdad, the security provider must ensure that there is a comprehensive cover against various forms of violent attacks. The provider must also ensure that there are proper risk transfer, crime prevention and lose eradication plans. For effectiveness, the plans should take into consideration various risk perceptions, the overall cost of insurance against other forms of disaster mitigation and the level of control needed. This is critical in ensuring that safety of security providers and clients especially diplomats is upheld. It is also vital in ensuring that the right choice of risk transfer is made through a legal process to promote indemnity programs (Bogal, 2013).
Notably, risk transfer is appropriate in Bagdad since Iraq has been facing a lot of conflicts and wars. The prolonged conflicts have contributed in compromising safety standards in the nation. This is evident since there have been random attacks especially on diplomats and high-ranking individuals who are great targets. Therefore, risk transfer remains relevant in mitigating the effects of adverse events since it ensures proper compensation of damages incurred such as lose of life and property. This is actualized through compensation of treatment costs, payment of personal accident claims and coverage of legal costs.
The second effective risk management strategy is known as risk avoidance (Dezenhall & Weber, 2011). The strategy provides requisite guidelines and incentives that enable institutions and individual service providers to design amicable ways of avoiding eminent risks. It focuses in promoting risk identification and determination of how the risk established can be avoided in a systematic manner. According to scholars, risk avoidance is a noble strategy that does not subject institutions to various processes and requirements as compared to risk transfer strategy. The strategy only requires managers to identify risks before they happen and design viable modalities to avoid them. It entails avoiding risk by eliminating defects and risk factors that may impede service delivery, development of physical security systems and quality security surveillance including patrols. The strategy also promotes elimination of risks through effective data management, use of secure storage devices and curriers.
The scholars assert that risk avoidance can best suit security providers in ensuring that they provide quality services to clients. The strategy suits them because it holds the capacity to enable them to identify risky areas or insecure areas and then avoid following such places. For instance, a security provider can avoid risk especially when travelling or driving a diplomat by changing the direction of movement if he identifies any form of risk ahead. A security provider can also avoid risk by making requisite arrangements to counter any illegal activity through mobilization of support from elite protection officers. This is effective for non armed security providers who would arrange for support from the armed officers when there is some danger ahead or within the residence. This strategy proves to be a sustainable precautionary measure that has been used to protect lives in most settings. It has also been instrumental in enhancing safety of diplomats in Bagdad that has been facing insecurity challenges over the years (Dezenhall & Weber, 2011).
Reducing the chances of risk occurrence form the next critical risk management strategy that managers should consider adopting. The strategy focuses on reducing the negative effects of risks and minimization of their chances of occurrence. It provides basic incentives that foster proper formulation of viable action plans to help in reducing the chances of occurrence of any undesirable situation. As well, it helps in eliminating defects within the operating structures by eradicating the root causes of disasters in various settings.
Evidently, institutions and individual service providers who operate in various fields such as security providers must adopt quality strategies to reduce the occurrence of risks to enable them perform better. This is important especially in the current competitive environment that is characterized with severe complications that range from social to political animosities. The complications are compromising individual’s safety that must be protected at all cost. Therefore, service providers especially in the protection sector should execute extensive feasibility studies to establish and understand security dynamics that the environment they operate in may present.
They must establish the likely threats that are evident, insecure geographical settings and the type of risk that may compromise their service delivery. This is significant in ensuring effective reduction of the likelihood of risk occurring and minimization of the negative consequences of any event incase of occurrence. For instance, security service providers in Bagdad should find it necessary to take prior precautionary measures to avert experiencing the adverse effects of risks.
They should understand the challenges they are likely to face as they provide services to clients who include diplomats (Dezenhall & Weber, 2011). Probable, mitigation measures to various hazardous situations that security providers in Bagdad can undertake include receiving of proper training on how to identify, assess, and avoid risks. Formulation of contingency plans, proper positioning, and installation of security tools including development of strong physical security locks also form key measures that security providers should adopt.
Notably, providing satisfactory security services to diplomats is a challenging task that requires effective strategic planning and risk management. This is essential since diplomats are policy and opinion makers who are always under target by thugs and criminal insurgents. They normally fall victims of various attacks that include bomb attacks that expose them to severe suffering including death. Therefore, their security must be enhanced by employing conventional techniques and programs that are technologically driven. This would help in promoting service delivery especially in Iraq that has been facing immense challenges of security.
Principles of risk management and how the strategies contribute in reducing, and eliminating various types of risks
As cited, institutions and individuals, especially those who operate in the security sector with an aim of ensuring effective transfer, retention, reduction, and elimination of risks should adhere to the principles of risk management. This is critical since the principles provide pertinent incentives that foster viable strategy formulation on key guidelines that touches on risk management. They enable managers and individual service providers to design proper solutions to anticipated events to ensure that service delivery is not compromised (Dezenhall & Weber, 2011).
The principles that promote risk reduction, retention, transfer and elimination ranges from social, economic and structural factors. They include being tolerable, continuous re-assessment of risk, transparency, proper positioning, being systematic and structured. Taking into consideration of various human factors, enhancement of personnel security through training and having the capacity to address uncertainties also form key principles of risk management.
In particular, they promote inclusivity in decision-making and formulation of risk management strategies. This is evident since they advance stakeholder participation in the formulation of risk reduction strategies. This enables security service providers in various settings to come up with proper risk reduction methods that are sustainable. Secondly, they enable service providers to identify amicably current and anticipated events that may occur in future. Such information help service providers in designing strategies solutions and best approaches to adopt with an aim of eliminating the occurrence or effects of any event that may occur. The principles are also vital because they are systematic, structured, and they consider human factors. This is essential in ensuring that clients especially in the security sector achieve value at every level of operation (Borodzicz, 2007).
Remarkably, these principles hold the capacity to revolutionize service delivery in Bagdad that has been facing detrimental conflicts. Although authorities in the nation have tried to streamline operations in the nation’s security sector, much still needs to be done. The country requires proper systems of operation and security measures to guarantee safe operations of individuals such as traders, and diplomats. The measures are required to avert the killings of various individuals especially diplomats who are mostly targeted by the al-Qaida group.
In this regard, security service providers should consider transferring risk to third parties to guarantee recovery of loses that may be incurred incase of any attack. The risk transfer should be executed by taking comprehensive insurance cover from reputable insurance companies. The risk cover taken should be able to secure both the security officials and clients (Borodzicz, 2007). Secondly, they should consider reducing the occurrence of various risks by adopting effective risk avoidance strategies. That is, they should avoid going or passing through areas where there are eminent risks and areas that are regarded as highly insecure.
Similarly, they can reduce risk by executing extensive assessment and evaluation of the environment to ascertain the probability of any event occurring. This helps in ensuring timely formulation of mitigation measures that helps in reducing the chances of risk occurrence. The strategy can best suit delivery of quality security services to diplomats, British officials, and World Bank representatives in Bagdad with great convenience. Further, security service providers in Bagdad can consider eliminating risk through development of effective contingency plans and integration of technological set ups to help in giving simultaneous alerts on the state of security in diverse locations.
The importance of detailed analysis, identification, and evaluation of risks in Baghdad
Clearly, Iraq has been faced with many insecurity issues that has been caused by the prolonged conflicts. The conflicts that include the recent invasion by the US in pursuit of al-Qaida sympathizers exposed the country to severe risks. The risks has resulted to immense loses that include lose of property and life of various individuals. This has prompted security providers in the nation to upscale the quality of the services that they offer through structured procedures.
They are keen in enhancing safety of individuals who include locals, British embassy and World Bank officials that this work environment covered in this paper deals with. Particularly, they intend to adopt modern ways of operation where every activity is driven technologically. This strategy is to be adopted to facilitate proper intelligence capturing, assessment and evaluation of security situation in various parts of the nation. The strategy is also meant to foster prompt identification and development of solutions to current including anticipated events that may compromise safety of diplomats in the nation (Borodzicz, 2007).
The main aim of adopting modern systems of operation is to ensure that relevant solutions are developed for various risks that are identified. Similarly, the systems are adopted to facilitate timely response to established risks before they cause any severe effect. They also hold the capacity of ensuring that risk analysis is carried out in an effective manner. Indeed, comprehensive risk analysis, identification, and evaluation would enable the security provider in Baghdad to provide quality services that are tailor made to satisfy clients needs. Risk identification will enable the service providers to establish and understand various types of risks that they are likely to face as they discharge their duties.
This will contribute in enabling service providers to develop proper precautionary measures and advice their clients on security issues in prior. The advice given to clients enables them to prepare well and to understand the volatility nature of areas that they are likely to visit. The advices are meant to make them prepare psychologically, mentally and financially (Borodzicz, 2007). Variably, analysis of the identified risks is imperative to both service providers and clients because it enable stakeholders to understand the effects of various risks. The analysis process is conducted to aid in depth understanding on the causes of various risks, their effects and how they can be prevented or eliminated.
Indeed, institutions and close protection officers should adopt effective risk management strategies to facilitate holistic mitigation of various hazardous exposures that may occur. This is essential since poor risk management has been a major hindrance factor to performance in most institutions and working environments such as the security sector in Iraq. Similarly, poor risk management exposes institutions and individuals to severe defects within the operating systems that in turn lead to low productivity. Therefore, risk identification and assessment is important since it enable institutions to design appropriate approaches towards averting the occurrence of probable risks in prior. This is fundamental since prior identification of risks promote ideal establishment of what should be done and how risk management processes are curried out.
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Dezenhall, E. & Weber, J. (2011). Damage Control: The Essential Lessons of Crisis Management. Westport, Conn: Prospecta Press.