Risk Perception Differentials of Construction Professional

Risk perception is an essential and integral part of most strategic and executive decision-making. This is because such decisions typically reflect the medium to longterm future success of the organisations to which they apply. Risk perception reflects the subjective awareness and judgement of risk by individual executives. The effectiveness of any risk decision exercised by these professionals is affected by how they perceive that risk. Within the construction sector, such decisions involve large capital expenditures that can result in adverse financial outcomes if the risk component is not perceived and judged right. Earlier work done in the field of psychology indicates that individual perception of any risk situation differs based on their circumstance. The circumstances of construction professionals could be accounted for by their discipline, career, educational attainment, as well as their personal attributes. Establishing how the circumstances of professionals create a difference in their perception can be valuable for enhancing risk management practice. The important question posed here relates to the degree of explanation in risk perception that can be associated with such differential factors. The paper presents a review of extant literature to establish the key concepts and essential theories on developments in risk perception. The review conducted culminated in a conceptual model for investigating the nature and degree of differentials in risk perception of construction professionals. The conceptual model shows the relationship between the risk perception and its determinants. A quantitative approach would be adopted, using a survey to capture information that can be used to measure the variables from three different groups of professionals in the road section working in public sector consultancy. The consideration of the influence of individual risk perception presents a radical departure from the conventional approach to risk management. It forms part of a broader study that explores the potential for applying the radical approach of perception differentials that embraces the practitioner as key to achieving improvement in risk management efforts.