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Interview with Dr Iniobong Enang

by | Jun 15, 2021 | Interviews,

Dr Iniobong Enang

Dr Iniobong Enang

Assistant Professor in Risk Management at Coventry University

Key Topics:Risk, Governance, Social Risk Management
Location:Coventry, England (West Midlands), United Kingdom

I am a Senior Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Risk Management, and Course Director of MSc Risk Management at Coventry University, in England. I have taught and lectured in the business schools at the University of Edinburgh and Glasgow Caledonian University.

I am a recipient of risk management awards from the Association of Local Authority Risk Managers (Alarm) in the UK. I have also served as Trustee on Glasgow Caledonian University Student Association Board, in a risk governance capacity.  My academic, research, and professional experiences and output, collectively provide a rich, scholarly, and unforgettable experience for my students.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

Prior to my career in academia, I worked in both the information technology and investment banking sectors where I developed interest in Risk Management. Acting on this interest, I obtained an MSc. in risk management with distinction from Glasgow Caledonian University. I then obtained a funded Ph.D. from Glasgow Caledonian University. The funding facilitated in-depth study into the production and management of social risks associated with reforming governance and funding structures within Scottish schools.

I have publications in peer reviewed scholarly journals including but not limited to the International Review of Administrative Sciences. I have also published in practitioner journals, including the Scottish Institute for Policing Research Annual Review. I am currently working on a co-authored risk management book for publication by Emerald Publishing House. In addition, I have a contract with Routledge Publishing House for the publication of a monograph on my PhD thesis.

Which key topics are you influential on?

I am passionate about, and engaged, in risk and governance research pertaining to social (in)justice.  I advocate for understanding risks, including potential impacts on micro, meso, and macro contexts, through my scholarly and practitioner publications, and public speaking engagements. My goal is to facilitate strategic decision making and contribute to positive outcomes toward the common good, by developing and conducting much needed social risk assessments, in collaboration with the public and private sectors. In brief, social risk refers to actions or situations with the potential to create negative social outcomes, such as inequalities and/or socio-economic disadvantage. Social risk management is therefore a systematic approach to preventing the materialisation of such negative social outcomes or mitigating negative impacts if they do materialise.

What sub-topics are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about the implications of social risk management for public service provision, and public service reform. I am also passionate about operationally effective risk governance with stakeholders, including community organisations.

Who influences you within these topics?

The work of my primary PhD supervisor, Darinka Asenova, Professor (Emeritus) of Risk Governance influenced me in relation to social risk management. She is one of the few scholars to identify a knowledge gap in this area of risk management. Likewise, research conducted by my second PhD supervisor, Stephen Bailey, Professor (Emeritus) of Public Sector Economics heightened my interest in public service provision and reform.

The influence of both scholars extends beyond their subject knowledge. Their work ethic and genuine interest in conducting research that can improve public service provision has influenced my desire to foreground social risk management for public service administration.

What challenges are brands facing in this space?

The real challenge is lack of proper and holistic implementation of risk management. The ongoing inquiry into the June 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy which occurred in West London, has found lack of ‘risk ownership’ in the sense that none of the companies and various bodies involved in the renovation and management of the Tower accepted responsibility for overall risk governance of the works being undertaken. Each organisation has denied responsibility for risk management and governance (aka ‘passing the buck’), even though residents had expressed concerns about safety issues. Community stakeholders were effectively ignored because there was no governance structure in place in which their views (worries and concerns) could be formally recorded and considered in decision making and operational procedures.

On a global scale, the absence of proper and holistic implementation of risk management is evidenced by the reactive crisis management stance adopted by various governments and organisations, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What do you think the future holds in this space?

The COVID-19 pandemic has identified the need for in-depth understanding of risk management at micro, meso, and macro levels of society. It has also highlighted the need for a paradigm shift from implementing risk management as a “silo tick-box” exercise, and/or compliance measure, to embracing risk governance as a daily practice particularly within the public sector.

Therefore, there is need for appointment of a ‘Risk Tsar’ to fill a permanent position in the structure of government with appropriate civil service and other support. It is also necessary to consider emerging financial risks (for which governments conventionally have contingency funds in their annual budgets), medical risks (viruses, lifestyle etc.), social risks (exclusion, inequality etc.), economic risks (unemployment, banking), institutional risks and other risks.

What brands are leading the way in this space?

Within the UK, the Association of Local Authority Risk Managers (Alarm) is influential and leads the way in public sector risk management. We also have the Local Government Association (LGA) in England, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) in Scotland, and the equivalent bodies in Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) sets the pace across the public, private, and third sectors within and outside the UK, on risk related matters.

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

I would be most interested in collaborating via podcasts, webinars, whitepapers, speaking opportunities, product innovation and video interviews.

What are your passions outside of work?

Outside work, I enjoy bonding with family and friends over a tasty meal, either home cooked or in restaurants. I am a physically active person, and so I always look forward to brisk walking, high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout exercises, hill walking, and yoga. I love reading and watching period dramas as I can live vicariously through my favourite characters. Travelling to exotic locations is another passion of mine, which I hope to resume when the risks of contracting the corona virus reduces significantly.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

LinkedIn, Twitter or Email.

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