Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 125–141 | Cite as

The enactment of risk categories: The role of information systems in organizing and re-organizing risk management practices in the energy industry

  • Susan ScottEmail author
  • Nicholas Perry


This research explores the role of information systems in risk management during a twenty year period when new governance arrangements led to enterprise-wide change in the UK energy markets. We present a longitudinal case study documenting the role of “A-Trade” transaction and risk management software in the adaptation of energy organizations to competitive demands associated with a simultaneous process of privatization and liberalization. During the design, development and implementation of A-Trade, multiple forms of expertise were brought together in what we describe as organizational encounters with risk. The story of “A-Trade” highlights the shift from a traditional engineer-led culture of risk cognition to market-oriented financial risk management. Our findings are that, firstly, that energy transaction and risk management software development provided an important learning ground during periods of paradigmatic change. Secondly, we provide insights into the enactment of risk categories and the challenges associated with establishing an information infrastructure to support risk management.


Qualitative IS research Energy transaction and risk management software Organizational change Risk culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information Systems and Innovation Group, Department of ManagementThe London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK
  2. 2.Independent Energy Risk Management ConsultantLondonUK

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