Archive for the ‘Risk Management’ Category

Never again!

Following the horrific collapse of the infamous Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh in April 2013 that killed over 1100 garment workers, a collection of western companies has tried to impose safety standards. The European-dominated Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a group of more than 150 firms and brands, has been arranging inspections of apparel factories that supply many of the developed world’s biggest clothing firms. But this has not proven to be an easy task, and the Accord now finds itself squaring up against both the company Florence Fashions and the Bangladeshi government. The Accord claims the factory building is unsound, presenting the possible spectacle of a repeat of Rana Plaza. Read more  about this ongoing battle to bring social responsibility to an industry that is so critical to the survival of this developing country. Let us hope that whatever happens, we will not turn on the news to watch yet another nightmarish factory disaster; that must never happen again.

The Blame Game

GSB Professor Jeff Pfeffer on his blog contrasts different corporations and how they handle disaster, in the wake of the BP debacle. He uses Southwest Airlines as an illustration of how a company can avoid witch hunts after a disaster, and instead work as a team to identify causes of problems, rather than people to blame. Assigning ‘collective responsibility’ can go a long way to building morale and improving performance.


Never let it be said that corporate espionage, industrial espionage (competitive intelligence) or whatever you want to call it is dead. The DOJ is wrapping up an ongoing probe into why documents, outlining their plan for a new series of luxury hotels, from Starwood Hotels & Resorts ended up with Hilton Worldwide. Did someone from Starwood mistakenly take a copy of a report with them in their briefcase or on their computer before they left the company and thought it would be alright to use it at their new job? The Wall Street Journal article entitled Hotel Feud Prompts Grand Jury Into Probe takes a look at the sequence of events which led to the Grand Jury. To view noteworthy instances where industrial secrets were taken NASA has put up the Notable Industrial Espionage Cases site.

Risky Black Box

Many cars in the United States have EDR (event data recorder) devices installed; these devices are similar to black boxes found in planes. The box records, among other things, the speed of the vehicle, seatbelt usage, and airbag and brake status. The EDR is a double edge sword. It’s a great tool to find out what happened in an accident but on the other hand it’s giving out personal information on the driver.
Risk Management Magazine in a February 2008 article entitled A Spy Under the Hood discusses how a company can best leverage EDR technology when managing a fleet of vehicles.


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