Oleh:  Dr. Antonius Alijoyo, F.

It comes across my interest in the meaning and differences between “Reacting” vs. “Responding” and its use in the risk management terminology, particularly about “Risk Response or Risk Responding” versus “Risk Reaction or Risk Reacting.”

Let us start with the two observable differences between reacting and responding in general:

A reaction is instantaneous, while a response takes time to develop and deliver. The difference between them is whether or not we consider different alternatives. With a reaction, we say or do the first thing that comes to mind, contrasting to a response, where we consider several possibilities and then select which words or actions will be the most beneficial.

A reaction probably looks irrational and over-the-top to others, whereas a response will seem a lot more sensible. An excellent way to determine the difference between a reaction and a response is whether our action contributed to a positive outcome or not.

Picking up the description above between reaction versus response, we could see why we should use risk response rather than risk reaction in managing an organization’s or personal risks. Risk response refers to a cognitive exercise to find viable options in dealing with risks and determine which one to opt for and act on to a positive outcome.

In order to have a good and effective risk response, we need to understand the context of risk management, which should align with the external and internal organization’s and/or individual’s context. The contexts are then driven down to the risk assessment process, which consists of three sub-processes, i.e., risk identification, risk analysis, and risk evaluation. This ultimately leads to the risk treatment process in which risk response takes a critical role.

Without those steps above, we will end up just in a simple risk reaction mode, which could create panic when we deal with risk and create a bigger risk and/or a more serious problem than it is supposed to be. Why is it the case? That is due to no preparation, which could fail us to determine the possible options that would give the most positive outcome. Consequently, such a failure will cause the failure of the organization or individual in achieving the organization’s and/or individual’s goals or objectives.

Hope this short article is helpful.

Dr. Antonius Alijoyo is the founder of CRMS Indonesia and a senior lecturer in some universities, including IPB, UNPAR, and STMIK LIKMI.

ORCID: 0000-0002-5624-873X, SCOPUS Author ID: 57257965900

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