Conceptualising uncertainty in safety-critical projects: a practitioner perspective

Saunders, Fiona C., Gale, Andrew W. ORCID logo ORCID: and Sherry, Andrew H. (2015) Conceptualising uncertainty in safety-critical projects: a practitioner perspective. International Journal of Project Management, 33 (2). pp. 467-478. Full text not available from this repository.

(Contact the author)
Official URL:


In safety-critical organisations such as civil-nuclear and aerospace, managing uncertainty is of particular importance as the consequences of failure can be potentially catastrophic. The challenge facing project managers in these complex, socio-technical environments is how to better understand the sources of project uncertainty and how to navigate a path through them in pursuit of successful project outcomes. This exploratory study analyses the literature on the management of uncertainty in projects using Söderlund's (2011) seven schools of thought on project management. Additionally it draws on interviews with project management practitioners from several large-scale projects in civil-nuclear and aerospace companies in the United Kingdom to posit the “uncertainty kaleidoscope” as a means of understanding the sources of uncertainty in safety-critical projects and identifies four conceptual approaches that may be adopted by project managers to attenuate the impact of uncertainty on the delivery of successful project outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: International Journal of Project Management
Publisher: Elsevier for International Project Management Association (IPMA)
ISSN: 1873-4634
Departments: Academic Departments > Institute for Industrial Practice (IIP)
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 09:02
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 13:46
Edit Item