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What Is Risk Management?

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What is Risk Management?

Risk management is a structured approach to controlling uncertainties and potential dangers by assessing what the particular uncertainties or dangers are, then developing strategies to minimize or mitigate those uncertainties or dangers. (Fjtlaw) Within a business, risk management practices are used in order to alleviate the potential for unexpected liability issues to arise. When an organization decides to do business and operate in a capacity at all they usually search to see what types of risks they could be exposing themselves to. Decisions that affect the company in part or on a whole usually require attention to detail in the area of risk management. Managers are tasked with researching and making sure that the changes that are to come will be in the best interest of the company in every aspect. Assuming too much risk can be detrimental for an organization if the proper protocol or procedures are not followed beforehand.

There are many aspects of risk management that need to be addressed or researched when making decisions within an organization. The areas of the business that risk management deal with are not limited. Risk management strategies may include techniques for avoiding the risk, transferring the risk to another party, or by accepting some portion of a risk. Risks can occur within any and all aspects and area of a business.

Risk Avoidance

By law, all employees have a right to work in a safe work environment. This right is afforded to any and all employees within any business or profession. This is an entitlement that employees should demand in the event they feel that have not been afforded such. The right to work, in itself, is a privilege that is afforded to everyone. That right should not be taken lightly nor should it be misconstrued by unsafe or unhealthy work environments. In order to make sure that these rights are afforded to all employees no matter what their profession or place of business is, the federal government has the occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) in place to oversee and investigate organizations to ensure the laws in regards to working conditions have been enforced. Creating such an environment is not always something that seems to be a priority for companies. Many organizations strive to keep themselves free from these types of risks in regards to working conditions but not all issues lie within the realm of the physical workplace.

Organizations can also avoid risks within their hiring practices by hiring employees within a manner that is fair and equitable to all involved. A major issue that has been a source of disputes and confusion within hiring for centuries has been discrimination. In order to help to alleviate some of the risks many organizations have chosen employ the use to Affirmative Action.

Affirmative Action: What is it?

Affirmative action is a set of public policies and initiatives designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. These policies were set with the intentions to help all classes of people to be considered for jobs based on their experience and not what they may look like on the outside or how they choose to practice their religion. For years this form of discrimination plagued qualified Americans throughout the workforce and there was very little that they could do to try and protect themselves from falling privy to this. The problem did not just seem to target just African Americans, but women as well as other minorities were subject to such discrimination as well.

Affirmative Action: The History

Affirmative action was established after the civil rights act. Employers scrutinized their hiring and promotion practices and attempted to eliminate sources of discrimination. Even after several attempts were made to have discrimination eliminated it still existed. In order to better address the discrimination problems within the business world, companies and organizations established affirmative action plans. Some plans were adopted in order to be in compliance with Title VII, while other plans were set up to go above and beyond what the law requires.

Initially these plans seem to be the remedy to ending discrimination. Advocates for these plans felt as though everyone would now have a fair and equal chance of obtaining a position and not being turned down because of their external characteristics. Everyone would now be judged for their merits, education and previous skills that they would have to offer. This was the intent of affirmative action plans, to bring about equality for all. This seemed like a very logical solution to discrimination; however the plans seem to provide preferential treatment to minorities and women. With the new plans in effect minorities and women were viewed for hiring more frequently and often times instead of non-minorities were. This preferential treatment caused opponents of affirmative action to begin to feel this was causing reverse discrimination. Meaning the non-minority was being overlooked because the focus was now being placed so heavily on minorities and women. This caused a debate to begin.

Affirmative Action: Advocates state it helps.

Advocates of affirmative action proclaim that affirmative action is fair and necessary. The unanimous feeling is that without affirmative action minorities and women have no fair shot at a promotion or obtaining a position with a company. From a advocates standpoint, affirmative action levels the playing field. It makes it fair for minorities and women to be considered for positions within a business. According to the statistics from the NOW organization, National Organization for Women, 95-97% of the higher level corporate positions are held by Caucasian men. These statistics are with affirmative action plans in place. With figures like this it makes it very hard to say that affirmative action holds back the truly qualified. If this were so this percentage would favor women and minorities a little more.

While researching opinions of advocates for affirmative action, specifically in reference to why they feel these plans should remain in force, some tend to feel that affirmative action plans help compensate for past injustice done to either a certain group of people or to a person who has suffered injustice themselves. The preferential treatment that they are given because of the affirmative action plans in place will help right the wrongs of the past. This causes friction in the workplace and leaves individuals involved with mixed feelings. Yes slavery and denying women the right to vote were wrong. It was very unfortunate to think of how people were treated



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