Centralization of Risk Management in Business Companies: A Case Study on the Role of Specialist Departments

Michael Schwandt


As part of his Ph.D. studies, the author researches risk management in project business and focuses on the construction industry. This paper deals with the intra-company organization of risk management. In particular, it examines advantages and disadvantages of centralization and decentralization of risk management. First, the paper deals with various aspects of risk management on theoretical level, ways of organizing risk management structures and relating decision criteria as well as the relevant tasks of specialist departments. Methodology of further research is based on a case study that explores details of centralization and decentralization in business practice. In the center of the case study is the company Bilfinger Berger Civil, a large, international construction company, which is an active player in the project business and has already carried out a variety of construction projects successfully. On the one hand, the company units and persons involved in Bilfinger’s risk management are introduced; on the other hand the tasks of the Group’s centralized departments are illuminated in detail. This includes the Corporate Legal, Internal Auditing, Corporate Treasury, Group Controlling and Project Controlling departments. The risk management of Bilfinger Berger Civil is finally assessed in form of a summary. As a main result the reader gains information about theories on structuring risk management within business companies and numerous impressions on the practical application in a real construction company.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/csbm.v2i1.7567


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