Understanding and Managing Risk Attitude



Book Title:  Understanding and Managing Risk Attitude, 2nd Ed
Author: David Hillson and Ruth Murrary-Webster
Publisher: Gower Publishing (Routledge)
List Price: $56.95
Format: softcover, 208 pages
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978-0-566-08798-1
Reviewer: Alicia Morgan, PMP
Review Date:  5/4/2023


Research has identified four basic risk attitudes that people may possess: risk-averse, risk-tolerant, risk-neutral, and risk-taking. Risk-averse individuals are cautious and prefer to avoid risks altogether. In contrast, risk-tolerant individuals are willing to take on risks and have a higher tolerance for uncertainty. Risk-neutral individuals are neither risk-averse nor risk-tolerant and are likely to take a balanced approach when making decisions. Risk-taking individuals seek out risks and are willing to take on high levels of uncertainty in pursuit of potential rewards.

Understanding these attitudes is essential in today’s business culture, where risk management is critical to project success. The book “Understanding and Managing Risk Attitudes” provides valuable insights into the complex human factors that can impact the effectiveness of risk management. By recognizing the role of emotions, biases, and individual differences, individuals and organizations can adopt a more mature risk culture that supports effective risk management practices.

This book is a must-read for anyone involved in risk management or project management. It provides a practical guide to understanding and managing risk attitudes, with real-world examples and case studies that illustrate the importance of this critical success factor. The insights provided in this book can help individuals and organizations to improve their risk management practices to achieve their objectives and deliver promised benefits.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book includes four parts with an appendix on emotional intelligence/literacy tools.

The book aims to fill the gap between risk management and attitudes. The first part provides an overview of the current state of risk management. It further explains the importance of human factors. The second part focuses on defining and explaining the range of possible risk attitudes at the individual and group levels. Part three reviews recent advancements in emotional intelligence and emotional literacy. It can help to promote and manage attitudinal change for individuals and organizations. In part four, the authors apply the insights of emotional literacy to the field of risk attitudes, providing a practical and applied framework based on their shared experiences and expertise. Rather than a theoretical or academic work, the book presents a combination of two leading-edge areas that allow for a unique approach to understanding and managing risk attitudes. These areas address the most common shortfall in risk management – the failure to manage the human aspects of the risk process.


  • The success factor for effective risk management is often lacking an appropriate mature risk culture.
  • The attitude of individuals and organizations has a significant influence on whether risk management delivers what it promises.
  • The difficulty in predicting the future is due to the existence of uncertainty.
  • The two aspects of uncertainty are variability and ambiguity.
  • Risk is not the same as uncertainty.
  • Defining the link between risk and objectives is essential to the process of risk management.
  • Risk management success should be determined in terms of effectiveness, rather than efficiency.
  • Risk management can improve the ability of individuals and organizations to predict and manage future uncertainty.
  • Lack of risk management effectiveness cannot be solely blamed on the concept, theory, and training techniques.


To read entire Book Review, click here

How to cite this book review: How to cite this review: Morgan, A. (2023).  Understanding and Managing Risk Attitude, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/pmwj130-Jun2023-Morgan-understanding-and-managing-risk-attitude-book-review-.pdf

About the Reviewer

Alicia Morgan

Dallas, TX, USA


Alicia Morgan is an accomplished executive leader with expertise in project and program management, change management, and agile leadership. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Tuskegee University and a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from New Mexico State University. She has managed high-performing teams across various sectors, including Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and college/workforce readiness initiatives. As a PMP-certified consultant, she is recognized as an industry expert and thought leader in project and program management. Alicia is also an award-winning professional, Women in Technology Awards Advocate Honoree, and a TEDx speaker. Her work is in several publications, such as Dallas Morning News, Dallas Business Journal, Crain’s Chicago Business, and The Hill. Alicia excels in executive and people leadership, stakeholder engagement, and strategic planning. With excellent communication and organizational skills, she builds trusted relationships and identifies new strategic partnerships.

Alicia can be contacted at ammorgancreative@gmail.com


Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the PM World Journal and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide books to the PM World Journal; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members who agree to provide a review within 45 days; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  After publication, reviewers can claim PDUs for PMP recertification, or continuing education units from other professional bodies.

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