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Managing unforeseeable uncertainty through learning

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Loch, CH 
Sommer, SC 
Jiang, M 


Novel innovation projects are not fully plannable but inherently face the challenge of uncertainty, including influences that cannot be anticipated (unforeseeable uncertainty). Project management literature has recognized the need for learning in projects, especially in novel ones, and identified types of learning and structures that support learning. This chapter compares learning approaches for projects of varying levels of uncertainty, explicitly linking the management of uncertainty to learning in projects. Based on a real case example, the chapter proposes a framework for integrating a Project Learning Process into the management of innovative projects. The chapter concludes by demonstrating how missing critical parts of this project learning process can result in overall failure for projects even when they technically succeed.



Managing unforeseeable uncertainty through learning


Is Part Of

Handbook on Innovation and Project Management

Book type

Edited volume


Edward Elgar

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