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Bryde, D J and Volm, J M (2009) Perceptions of owners in German construction projects: congruence with project risk theory. Construction Management and Economics, 27(11), 1059–71.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: project management; risk management; owner; interview; Germany; risk perceptions
- ISBN/ISSN: 0144-6193
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01446190903222403
The construction industry is a major user of formal project risk management practices, yet risk is often dealt with inadequately, which is a contributory factor to poor performance. Conceptual developments propose a holistic view of risk incorporating threats and opportunities and the management of uncertainty. To optimize a risk management process there needs to be a reflection of this holistic view in management practice. A key project participant is the owner and understanding the perceptions of project risk of construction owners is an important step in assessing the degree to which practices reflect theory. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 practitioners in German construction owner organizations to explore their perceptions of project risk. The results showed no common definition of project risk and a general belief that risk equated to threat. Some owners did manage opportunities and saw a link between threats and opportunities, yet this practice seemed more the result of experience than an awareness that it was an integral part of a theoretical risk management framework. Most owners perceived risk to encompass uncertainty and the sources of uncertainty perceived as most important were those linked to a longer timescale, such as the ability to let out buildings.