Meme Based Cognitive Models Regarding Risk And Loss In Small And Medium Enterprises

Goals Of The Research

Risk action in SME’s could be extremly harmfull not just for the involved persons but for the SME as a whole. Human error is the main factor in the majority of the unexpected events (malfunctions,loss, incidents, accidents) produced in SME’s. Our research was focused  on the improvement of  the loss management of the SME’s using cognitive methods and techniques.
Our main objectives were:
  • The development of an usefull cognitive model of risk and loss inside the SME’s, model based on the concept of meme pools as the transmitter of heuristic experience in order to assure an effective risk prevention;
  • Model the cognitive components of the task execution and of the interaction between man-machine and man-working environment form the possible risk point of view
  • Use these models to explore sources of human error;
  • Improve performance in risk and loss control management;

Methodology and results obtained

We have started our research with a statistical study regarding risk and loss inside the Romanian SME’s. We have choose a significant statistical probe of 1000 SME’s from all the major domains and with the same protection against risk capabilities. However, we discovered that some SME’s were risk prone- with more of 85% of incidents and accidents happened there in five years- while others were risk “protected”-with less of 25% incidents and accidents. We studied the specific knowledge structures that are used in SME’s  in order to minimise risks and assure an efficient loss management- using the meme (R.Dawis, 1976) notion as a specific  chunk of oriented knowledge and the meme pool as a fundamental and necessary framework for the growth and distribution of memes.
We have developed a c model based on three pilons (the Partner Cognitive Model, the Workplace Platform Cognitive Model and the Performance Cognitive Model), as shown in Figure 1 .

Figure 1 The three pilons of the SME risk and loss cognitive model

These three pilons are cooperating towards the assurance of safety and reduction or elimination of risks. They are using a standard set of messages presented in Figure 2.

Figure 2 The Standard Set of Messages

Our general cognitive model was mapped on specific activities resulting a structure like Figure 3.

Figure 3

Based on this cognitive model (developed like the others using the Cogent 2.3.6 tool) we performed our research regarding the human errors  basically finding that a good  meme pool structure- starting with the workplace and ending at the top management is the key for risk reduction/elimination and an optimal loss control.


Our study evolved towards the improvement of existing loss control managerial systems, based on the developed cognitive models and also on the research performed regarding human errors.
The developed cognitive models were translated into tutorial programs based on eduknowledge structures (Stefan Kovacs, Uta Adina, Mihalca Rodica, 2005).


Dawkins R.(1976),The selfish gene ,Oxford Univ.Press, Oxford
Tanaka Y(1996) .,Meme media and a world-wide meme pool, in Proc.ACM Multimedia 96
Mihalca R.,Uta A.,Kovacs St. (2005) Computer Based Intelligent Learning Environments (CBILE) specific to the high level safety training ,Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Systems and Technologies - CompSysTech’ 2005