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Mastering Catastrophic Risk

How Companies Are Coping with Disruption

Howard Kunreuther and Michael Useem

Mastering Catastrophic Risk can be ordered at all major book retailer sites in ebook and hardcover formats.

A profound and insightful look at how company leaders prepare for and respond to shocks and crises that threaten their business.

Successful firms strategically manage and are more accurate in their assessment of large-scale risks. Doing so is increasingly challenging given the pace of change, whether financial, technological, regulatory, or environmental. Mastering Catastrophic Risk provides real-world practical insights into how large companies are responding to this new reality and develops a framework for smarter thinking about events that can damage a business.

As leading authorities on risk management, strategy, and company leadership, Howard Kunreuther and Michael Useem take us on a groundbreaking tour of firms’ decision making process. They demonstrate how improving readiness for and resilience against future shocks is now an integral part of company strategy. Using the “DISRUPT” model they have developed, they highlight the seven primary Drivers of disruption: Interdependencies increase exposure; Short-term focus results in limited vision; Regulations require change and constrain opportunities; Urbanization increases the costs of disasters; Probabilities of disasters have increased; and Transparency has enhanced public awareness of problems and impacts on firms’ reputations.

Some disruptions can be anticipated, while others arrive without warning. Their onset stresses decision makers, impairs company operations, and may even put the enterprise at risk. The bottom-line: business leaders and their governing boards face ever more challenging disruptions and must be ever more on guard. If your company is hit tomorrow, will it bounce back, or drown?

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About the Authors

Howard Kunreuther

Howard C. Kunreuther is the James G. Dinan Professor, Professor of Decision Sciences and Business and Public Policy at the Wharton School, and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His recent books include Mastering Catastrophic Risk (with Michael Useem), The Ostrich Paradox: Why We Underprepare for Disasters (with Robert Meyer), At War with the Weather (with Erwann Michel-Kerjan), winner of the Kulp-Wright Book Award from th ... More

Michael Useem

Michael Useem is the William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management; Faculty Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management and McNulty Leadership Program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His university teaching includes MBA and executive MBA courses on management and leadership, and his earlier books include The Leader’s Checklist, The Strategic Leader’s Roadmap (with Harbir Singh), Mastering Catastrophic Risk (with Howard Kunreuther), Fortune Makers: The Leaders Creating China ... More

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