presupposes accountability of subjects or institutions which err in their actions
or decisions under conditions of apparent uncertainty.3 Risk is understood as
intentional interaction with uncertainty. Uncertainty is a potential, unpredictable
and uncontrollable outcome; risk is a consequence of action taken in spite of
When one thinks about researching risk and related issues, the challenge of
which field of study to approach the issue from presents itself. Many of the
institutions that humanity has built, could be viewed as a way to address
uncertainty, including politics, religion, philosophy, technology, laws, ethics and
morality.5 Therefore, human wisdom has been capable of identifying patterns
for uncertainty and developing heuristics.6 As a result, whenever risk occurs,
every discipline devises its own solutions to prevent or minimize it.
Risk is usually recognized and accepted as inevitable and unavoidable in
every field of human endeavor.7 Conversely, there are also proponents of the
view that risk can be avoided. Irrespective of such variation in views,
identifying risk factors and solutions require advanced knowledge.8 As Greene
notes “any definition of risk is likely to carry an element of subjectivity,
depending upon the nature of the risk and to what it is applied. As such, there is
no all-encompassing definition of risk.”9
The Association for Project Management defined risk as “Any uncertain
event or set of circumstances that, should it occur, would have an effect on one
or more objectives”.10 In light of the elements of the definition given above,
risk could be any uncertain event or unpredicted situation, secondly, the said
event should at least happen, and finally the effect aspect the risk must have
impact on our objectives. Thus, as Association for Project Management notes,
3 Karin Zachmann (2014), “Risk in Historical Perspective: Concepts, Contexts, and
Conjunctions”, in C. Klüppelberg et al. (eds.), Risk – A Multidisciplinary Introduction,
(Springer), p. 3.
4 Ricardo Antunes et al (2015), A Production Model for Construction: a Theoretical
Framework, Buildings 5(1) 209-228, p. 209.
5 David Hillson (2006). The Risk Management Universe: A Guided Tour, British Standards
6 Ignacio C. Spikin (2013), “Risk Management Theory: The integrated perspective and its
application in the public sector”, Estado, Gobierno, Gestión Pública, Nº21, pp. 89, 126
8 Brayn S. Shapiro (2005), Transferring Risks under Construction Contracts (SHK,
Vancouver, BC, Canada), p.2.
9 Adam Greene(2006), “A Process Approach To Project Risk Management”, Journal of
Business Economics and management, Vol. VII, No. 2, p.17.
10 Association for Project management (2000), Project Risk Analysis and Management, A
Guide (APM, 2nd ed.), p. 3.