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Analysis of the perception and management of risk in the delivery of major road projects: A case study of the Highways Agency

Bolaji, O; (2007) Analysis of the perception and management of risk in the delivery of major road projects: A case study of the Highways Agency. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The major roads programme of the Highways Agency (HA) has been the subject of recent reviews. The first review by the National Audit Office examined how the agency estimates and monitors costs, and observed that there were significant risks in its processes. The second review by the Nichols Group observed that the agency aspires to best practice in risk management but its present approach is largely ineffective. Risk management often fails to meet expectations as risk is managed by individuals or groups and the human element introduces complexity into the process. If attitudes to risk can be assessed with some degree of accuracy, the sources of bias can be diagnosed and their influence on the risk process exposed. The perception and management of project risk in the agency has been analysed using data on 45 completed major road projects and interviews/discussions with some key people involved in risk management. The study found that the number of projects overrunning their estimate was almost the same as projects with underruns. Mean performance statistics are therefore not a reliable guide for the overall outturn of projects. The study has attempted to classify the agency as having a Risk Tolerance profile as opposed to the classic academic view that public organisations are very risk averse. The study concludes that in order for the HA to realise the potential benefits of its change programme it should consider some identified institutional factors alongside the review of its processes and procedures.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Analysis of the perception and management of risk in the delivery of major road projects: A case study of the Highways Agency
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1567793
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