This research has shown how the nature of the construction project has become
increasingly complex and has highlighted how project management decision-making
has been supplemented with the use of risk management strategies. Subsequently the
use of risk management strategies in construction project execution has had some of its
weaknesses exposed, namely the failure of such strategies to consider the role of the
individual within the risk management process. Consequently this research has
undertaken an investigation to ascertain and understand the nature and impact of
individual decision-makers upon the decision-making process. The attributes of and
influences upon individual decision-making, risk and uncertainty perceptions and
preferences have been explored and discussed in some detail. From those the `risk
prism', a metaphor for the perception and preference of risk and uncertainty, was
developed to explore the manner in which these decision-making attributes function.
An investigation was undertaken to replicate the `risky shift' phenomenon in decisionmaking
groups populated by construction project management professionals. The
results of this investigation ascertained the influence of the group environment upon
construction management decision makers, namely that individuals were influenced to
accept greater uncertainty in a group decision environment. Subsequently a case study
investigation of an organisations attempt to introduce a new risk management strategy
was undertaken from which an enhanced understanding of the group discussion and
decision-making environment was ascertained.
As a result of these investigations an improved risk management process was
developed and is presented within this dissertation.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.