Risk_and_uncertainty - Risk is a term that is so broad in...

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Risk is a term that is so broad in interpretation and context that a new taxonomy to differentiate the various concepts of risk should be adopted. At present, risk in a project management context, is misunderstood. Introduction In their articles, “Against risk” published in the April, 1999 issue of Risk Decision and Policy , Dowie argued that word “risk” in the context of PRM is misunderstood due to the its "multiple and ambiguous usages” that contaminates evaluation and identification of routes to deliver the message effectively. In later issued article “Transforming project risk management into project uncertainty management” published in the February, 2003 issue of International Journal of Project Management, Ward and Chapman developed the Dowie’s concerns and suggested to transform traditional project risk management (PRM) procedures into “Project Uncertainty Management”. Both articles raise the issue of necessarity changing taxonomy ( risk) with single consistent language for the risk analysis community . Next section will evaluate, the main themes strengths and weaknesses of the arguments proposed in mentioned by drawing various literature about “risk” management. Last section concludes reviewed papers. Critical evaluation The dictionary defines word “risk” as “hazard, possibility of incurring loss or misfortune, expose to chance of loss or damage” (Consise Oxford Dictionary). These definition indicates that this word has multiple meanings such as “event”, “chance” and “action”. Dowie (1999) in his article clearly indicates that the current usage of “risk” leads to confusion and misunderstanding in communication. This approach is quite in line with the work of Ward and Chapman (2003) who are “ very sympathetic ” with the concerns of Dowie. In fact other studies see the problem of imprecise and multiple meanings of “risk” and suggest several solutions to resolve the issue. However, they tend to emphasize on the redefining of the “risk” rather than complete abandoning of it. (Jardine and Hrudey, 1997; Fischhoff et al, 1984) Further, not to “contaminate” the judgements about probability Dowie offers to replace the “risk”. His view is that “It is simply not needed” in defining risk as product of possibility to the magnitude of its utility. This view is underpinned by the study of Kaplan (1997),
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This note was uploaded on 07/07/2011 for the course MACE MOP taught by Professor Dr during the Fall '09 term at University of Manchester.

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Risk_and_uncertainty - Risk is a term that is so broad in...

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