January 2017 – August 2018
John B. Zellars Professor of Computer Information Systems
Project Management Institute
Why do so many project managers seem unable or unwilling to adequately manage IT project risks? Answering this fundamental question requires gaining a better understanding of how project managers perceive or construe risks.
To gain this understanding, the project employs construal level theory (CLT).
CLT suggests that human behavior is influenced by the degree to which things are perceived as being psychologically near (i.e., low-level construal) versus psychologically distant (i.e., high-level construal).
In a series of five experiments, CLT is used to better understand how project managers perform various risk management activities (e.g., risk identification, risk analysis, risk response planning, and risk monitoring) and to determine the impact of construal level on the judgment and decision-making of IT project managers when it comes to managing IT project risks.
The research employs quantitative methods and involves recruiting 385 project managers to participate in the experiments which will be hosted on a website. This approach is unique and powerful because it rests on a solid theoretical foundation, and because it promises to shed light not just on one aspect of risk management (e.g., risk identification) but on a wide range of activities that have been acknowledged to be important to the risk management process.