Uncertainty management concerning cultural dynamics in project management - case study

Johanna Nummelin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific


Projects are becoming more international and also the number of "mega-projects" is rising. Potential profits are greater than before, but on the other hand, the possible losses are bigger. At the same time, research has shown that problems related to project performance, i.e. time, cost and quality, are highly affected by the issues related to human behaviour. Factors such as management, behavioural and organisational characteristics play important role. Recent research has shown that diversity among project team members can result substantially large success, or respectively enormous failure. This development emphasises the importance of managing the effects of national and organisational differences - hence cultural dynamics. Risk management in project environments has traditionally focused on the negative side of managing uncertainty. In practice this has caused "management blindness" towards opportunities that could be gained in projects. Previous research shows that risk management should transform to uncertainty management. And at the same time it should go deeper into the comprehensive level, where the organisational and cultural aspects are also taken into analysis. Culture characterises human being and, as mentioned earlier, is not necessarily a threat to project. Cultural diversity leads sometimes to positive effects on project progress and outcome, e.g. more effective and creative solutions. Most importantly, these results do not come automatically, but they need to be managed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
JournalProject Perspectives
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeB1 Article in a scientific magazine


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