Product innovation and the games of uncertainty and risk

Hooman Attar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated how risk is managed in practice at different stages of product innovation-focusing on the practice and process of translating/converting uncertainty into manageable risks. It illustrates how management of risks in innovation treats uncertainty in a restricted and limited way, tacitly accepting a sanitized discourse on risk-one that ignores broader socio-political understandings of uncertainty. In extending out- understanding of the role of uncertainty in risk management, this study draws on the theories that range from sense-making to decision making, from reflecting to framing and producing norms; from cognitive--scientific theories of risk and fire-fighting to coping with anxiety. By spanning these literatures, the study advocates a third way which recognises the challenges that have to be Faced in developing a broader legitimate socio-political understanding of risk and uncertainty. The outcome is a new conceptual framework for looking at risk and uncertainty in innovation which provides a basis for understanding and reflecting upon how unmanageable uncertainty translates into manageable risks, how risk is managed in practice and how it might be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-812
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of applied sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • product innovation
  • rationality
  • risk management
  • risk society
  • uncertainty


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