Identifying subjective perspectives on managing underground risks at Schiphol airport

Erwin Biersteker*, Alfons van Marrewijk, Joop Koppenjan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recently, scholars have called for a focus on subjective aspects of risk management as a suitable lens for understanding how it functions. In line with this lens, this study focuses on project actors’ viewpoints on risk management in the context of construction projects to provide novel insights in risk management. Drawing on Renn's model and following a Q methodology, we identify four risk management approaches among asset managers and project managers working at the Dutch Schiphol Airport. The action-oriented and future-oriented viewpoints are dominant, while the expert input and stakeholder-centric viewpoints are in the minority. Our findings extend the risk management debate by showing that (1) there are various approaches to risk management that have been identified independently from the formal risk management; (2) these approaches cannot be explained by a project actor's role or objective within the project; and (3) that project actors have a dominant focus on managing complexity-induced risks at the expense of managing other types of risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-195
Number of pages15
JournalProject management journal
Issue number2
Early online date4 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (grant number 439.16.805).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Project Management Institute, Inc.


  • Q-sort
  • risk management
  • subjective approach
  • underground risk
  • utilities


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