Alto42 main banner
Risk Governance Management Specialists



Key points from the thesis are described on a Cranfield video

Alto42 main banner
Risk Governance Management Specialists

Doctor of Business Administration; Thesis (2011) - "Conceptualisation in Preparation for Risk Discourse: A Qualitative Step toward Risk Governance"

Mikes' doctoral work was featured in an article entitled "Signs that spell danger" by Carly Chynoweth published in the Sunday Times on 22 Jan 12. A copy can be found at:

As part of his doctoral research Mike focused on how academic work may be used by practitioners. He presented a paper to the First International Conference on Engaged Management Scholarship, 2011 entitled "The Plurality of Scholarship: Developing a Focus for the DBA". It can be found at:

Tower of Babel;  Mike's latest article has been published in the Institute of Risk Management's recent RM Professional magazine. The article, aimed at practitioners, describes the many ways the word 'risk' is used and offers a matrix balancing 7 dimensions of risk against 5 uses of the word. Mike invites readers to determine in which of these ways 'risk' is being used whenever it comes up in their conversations. In doing so, practitioners should gain a greater understanding of the complexity of the term and greater clarity in its use.




Mike's been blogging: first to raise the level of debate on the conduct of inquiries and their value to society read it here and secondly on the subject of critical success factors read it here.


Mike's latest blog notes that we delude ourselves that the world is ordered, and suggests it may serve us better to be realistic that it is in fact chaotic with only small oases of order read it here.  Mike's also blogged about the 'Plowman Effect': how seemingly valid decisions can lead us away from where we want to be read it here.


Viability of Multi-skilling;  In searching for organisational flexibility organisations seek to multi-task their staff requiring them to have a multitude of skills. However, we have to ask, how viable is this approach? Mike's Business Masters research considered how to produce a lean organisation of the right size to compete in the market, while avoiding being either overstaffed or conversely "anorexic".  In the paper he offered a risk management tool which would enable managers to examine the functional flexibility required by their organisation, and the ability of their workforce to provide it, in order to determine the probability of allocated tasks being carried out to a specified performance standard and to maximise their organisation's potential.  


Journal of Contingency and Crisis Management titled "Normal chaos: a new research paradigm for understanding practice". It was published on line in October and is due out in print in January 2018. 



Our key point is this: If practitioners always have to work in imperfect ways with imperfect tools, with imperfect understanding using imperfect information and within imperfect systems where the degree of control available is limited, how do they cope, managerially (that is, "deal effectively" with the issues before them)? As researchers, we believe the answer to that question is not known and, accordingly, we recommend a new research paradigm for understanding practice more generally. We call that paradigm, normal chaos.

Book6-Cover(2) IMG_0311

Books Published

[Click on cover to see a synopsis]

Book Chapters Published

"Foresight Saga, pursuing insight through chaos and disaster"

Book1-Cover (5) Book1-Cover (5)