The Integration of ERM and Strategy: Implications for Corporate Governance
School of Accountancy
Since the early 2000s, expectations have increased for organizations to strengthen corporate governance with enterprise risk management (ERM) processes, with the accounting profession playing a major role in these efforts. The ultimate goal of an effective ERM process is to help boards and senior executives to manage risks in the context of strategy so that the organization is more likely to achieve its key objectives. We conduct semi-structured interviews of 15 ERM champions to provide insights about whether the ERM process is integrated with the strategic-planning and execution processes of the firm. We find that while the decision to launch ERM often is based on a desire for ERM to provide strategic value, the integration of ERM with strategy typically is limited. We then examine the ERM implementation process to identify possible ERM implementation practices limiting ERM's integration with strategy. We find that organizations' (1) culture and approach to preparing for ERM's launch, (2) ERM leadership structure, and (3) management of key risks appear to limit the intersection of ERM and strategy. Our summary of key findings highlights important considerations for boards of directors, executive management, and auditors as they assess the effectiveness of their risk oversight efforts in overseeing the strategic direction of the enterprise.
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