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Risk management practices in German SME's: an empirical investigation.

Henschel, Thomas


Thomas Henschel


This paper reports the current risk management practices in German Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) (so-called German 'Mittelstand'). In particular, it studies possible relationships between risk management and business planning activities. Additionally, it determines to what extent the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is used, for the general purpose of performance measurement and especially for the purpose of risk management. The enquiry was carried out by means of a postal questionnaire. The results show that in German SMEs the handling of risks is strongly concentrated on owner–managers. Risk management is carried out in a rather rudimentary way. Only a few SMEs have established a comprehensive business planning system, and the link between their risk management and their business planning in most SMEs is not well developed. But a sound risk management requires an elaborate business planning, together with a direct mapping of risk figures into the planning system. In general, the BSC was met open-minded, but its use for risk management is mentioned by only a few enterprises. This investigation is a first step of a larger empirical approach to risk management practices in German SMEs.


Henschel, T. (2006). Risk management practices in German SME's: an empirical investigation. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 3, 554-571.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2006
Deposit Date Jan 23, 2012
Print ISSN 1476-1297
Electronic ISSN 1741-8054
Publisher Inderscience
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Pages 554-571
Keywords Risk management; SME's; Small to medium-sized enterprises; long-term business planning; balanced scorecard; Germany; performance measurement;
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