Determining a topic for a research paper involving the application of principles of risk management should begin with consideration of specific areas of business or government of particular interest to the individual student. “Risk management” is a fairly formulaic concept involving identification of potential risks involved in any particular endeavor; assessments of the nature and level of risk; methods formulated to reduce or eliminate identified risks; and review of those methods to ensure that the desired objectives have been attained. Tables reflecting the concept of risk management usually depict a cyclical process in which management or review of risks leads to identification of new or unresolved risks that perhaps had ranked lower in priority during the initial review.
If a student studying business and assigned to prepare a report on risk management identifies a particular field on which he or she intends to focus, for example, manufacturing processes, administration of medical care, architecture and design, or the retail industry, then the next step would to identify potential problems that can develop during the course of business procedures specific to the field in question. Conduct of a risk assessment associated with disaster preparedness or the conduct of law enforcement procedures similarly involves identification and analysis of each potential problem that can develop. Perhaps the easiest area of business for which risk management exercises can be conducted involves the insurance industry, which exists in no small part conduct such assessments as a routine matter. For example, before insuring a particular type of business or activity, industry analysts conduct detailed studies of the risks inherent in that particular activity and establishes rates accordingly – or denies coverage altogether. The Risk Management Society’s recent study on the implications of the post-9/11 terrorist attacks Terrorism Risk Insurance Act’s expiration illustrated the concerns on the part of many businesses with respect to the loss of terrorism-related insurance coverage. [See “TRIA Expiration has Risk Professionals Bracing for Decreased Terrorism Coverage Limits”, October 29, 2013, www.rims.org/aboutRIMS/Newsroom/News/Pages/RIMSTRIASurveyappendix2013.aspx]
As with any broad category like “risk management,” preparation of an essay or research paper is contingent upon the individual student’s success at choosing a specific area of interest and defining the parameters of research so as to preclude the loss of time and energy on extraneous research. There is no shortage of resources in libraries and on the Internet with respect to the subject of risk management. The key is simply to decide on what field of endeavor one wishes to invest time.