Managing Uncertainty in Projects: A Review, Trends and Gaps

Esther Zhi Hong Zheng, Marly Monteiro de Carvalho


Nowadays an increasing number of projects are being developed in high complexity and uncertainty environment, requiring different approaches for project management: less rigid and more flexible. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to present a framework for managing uncertainties, through a systematic literature review. The developed framework, based on the contingency theory, suggests that approaches for uncertainty management are, in part, determined by the characteristics of the existing uncertainties. The responses for uncertainty can be driven by the cause or consequence of the uncertainties and those are chosen according to the ability to influence the cause, which is higher for internal uncertainties and lower for external uncertainties. The flexibility of the project management approach, in its turn, is impacted by the uncertainty degree.


uncertainty, risk, project management, contingency theory

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