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Issue № 81. August 2020

Risk, Risk Management and Uncertainty: Clarifying the Concepts

Valentin S. Nikolaenko

MBA, Senior Teacher, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk, Russian Federation. 
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1990-4443

There is no common point of view among domestic and foreign scientists on how to define the terms «risk», «risk management» and «uncertainty». Furthermore, Russian sources devoted to risk management contain errors in localization of terminological concepts, which misleads many Russian scientists. For this reason, the author of the article used the original codes of best practices and risk management standards, such as COSO ERM, PMBoK® Guide, M_o_R®, ISO 31000 and PRINCE2®. The results obtained allowed us to establish that a risk event is a combination of elements such as the source of risk, risk factor and problem/favorable consequence. The presence of a favorable effect, in turn, served as the basis for dividing into negative risks and positive risks. In this regard, taking into account the increment of new knowledge, risk management can be understood as a set of processes for assessing negative/positive risks, making management decisions on the development of impact measures, monitoring unidentified risks and controlling identified risks. It was found that uncertainty and risk have different nature and properties. For example, uncertainty usually occurs in the absence of information, while risk, on the contrary, is always predictable, since it is based on historical data; uncertainty is associated with the occurrence of stochastic events, but the risk is generated by specific sources under the influence of certain factors; the uncertainty is subjective, the risk is objective, as it is based on quantitative data and facts.


Risk, uncertainty, risk management, COSO ERM, PMBoK® Guide, M_o_R®, ISO 31000, PRINCE2®.

DOI: 10.24411/2070-1381-2020-10080

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