The Effectiveness of Risk Management: An Analysis of Project Risk Planning Across Industries and Countries


Address correspondence to Ofer Zwikael, PhD, PMP, School of Management, Marketing and International Business, ANU College of Business and Economics, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia; tel: +61-2-61256739; fax: +61-2-61258796;


This article examines the effectiveness of current risk management practices to reduce project risk using a multinational, multi-industry study across different scenarios and cultures. A survey was administered to 701 project managers, and their supervisors, in seven industries and three diverse countries (New Zealand, Israel, and Japan), in multiple languages during the 2002–2007 period. Results of this study show that project context—industry and country where a project is executed—significantly impacts perceived levels of project risk, and the intensity of risk management processes. Our findings also suggest that risk management moderates the relationship between risk level and project success. Specifically, we found that even moderate levels of risk management planning are sufficient to reduce the negative effect risk levels have on project success.