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The balance between risk and safety in dangerous activities: A Case study of Risk Management in a Mountaineering Expedition
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Risk is an increasingly important factor of our modern society, but that does not mean that risks have become higher today versus any other epoch of human history. Especially in the developed world, risks have been progressively lowered over time. In opposition to the declining risk in everyday life of our modern society, there seems to be an apparent increasing prevalence of risk-taking in our leisure pursuits. More people are willing to take unenforced risks and the fast growing development of adventure tourism is a good example of this.

The main purpose of this thesis is to create an understanding how service providers of dangerous activities manage the balance risk and safety in interaction with their customer. Our research objective is to obtain an understanding of risk management practice in a context with the potential physical risks inherent in adventure tourism. The organizational structure for a service provider in extreme environments can be similar to a temporary organizational structure and can therefore be seen from a project management perspective.

This research is conducted through a qualitative case-study, which was carried out in the context of a mountaineering expedition in the attempt to summit Mount Everest. Our empirical data are gathered from a database created by the research project Extreme Environments – Everyday Decisions (Triple ED). This database contains numerous transcribed interviews, tracking records, and field notes that was used in order to interpret and analyze the expedition and encounters happening during the process of this mountaineering expedition.

Our empirical findings suggest that management of a balance between risk and safety is highly dependent on honest communication. Educated personnel that have the experience and knowledge necessary to manage an expedition or group in a similar setting are another key feature. Furthermore, managing a balance between physical risk and safety is an on-going process in the context of adventure tourism with a large amount interaction between the service provider’s representatives and their customers. For these reasons, the building of a well-functioning relationship between the incorporated strong stakeholders is of importance when balancing risk and safety in a dangerous activity with inherent risks for physical harm.     

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 101 p.
Keyword [en]
Adventure Tourism, Risk Management, Service Promises, Customers expectation, Flow and Peak Adventure.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91167OAI: diva2:734252
External cooperation
Research group: Triple E. D.
Available from: 2014-08-07 Created: 2014-07-15 Last updated: 2014-08-07Bibliographically approved

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