The Development of an Empirical-Based Framework for Project Risk Management

  • Saipol Bari Bin Abd Karim

Student thesis: Phd


This research is conducted to formulate a framework for project risk management by evaluating the current understanding and practices. It examines the risk management processes provided by the various standards, frameworks and guidelines available globally. The research argues that the existence of varying risk management standards, frameworks and guidelines is not an assurance that organisations will adopt their principles and processes. Furthermore, these documents do not provide sufficient information concerning the understanding of the concept of risk and uncertainty and their management. To accomplish this goal, it became necessary for the research to reach an understanding about the concepts and fundamental issues of risk and uncertainty management. This research also sought to know how organisations in different industries manage risks and uncertainties for their projects. This research was confined to the study of the understanding and practices of PRM by established or influential organisations in aerospace and aviation, oil, gas and petrochemical, power, telecommunication as well as construction industries with matching criteria. Semi-structured interviews were conducted using an 'aide-memoire' with managers involved in the management of project risks to document the current practices of risk management. Thematic analyses were used to compress and summarise the large amount of data into internally consistent understandings of risk and uncertainty. Based on the results, the research proposes a structure that explains the current understanding of the concepts of risk and uncertainty as well as an outline process framework for conducting risk management for industry use. Practically, risk and uncertainty are found to be interrelated whereby and they happen as an outcome of each other's occurrence. The proposed framework consists of six major steps which incorporated the purposes and activities within, providing a better understanding of how risk can be managed. This research contributes theoretically, methodologically and practically to project risk management body of knowledge.
Date of Award1 Aug 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGraham Winch (Supervisor) & David Lowe (Supervisor)


  • Project organisation
  • Project Risk Management
  • Uncertainty management
  • Risk management process

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