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Thietart Raymond-alain, Xuereb Jean-marc
Rationality and the management of uncertainty in new product development


Raymond-Alain THIETART

Jean-Marc XUEREB


Innovation projects always introduce concomitant elements of uncertainty and complexity; concerning the product to be developed and any technological requirements, the prevailing market and competition, and the structure of the organization involved. We propose that organizations work to confine systems which are already complex and uncertain by relying on various means to create “islands of rationality”, so as to furnish project managers with the capacity to make decisions and act. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of the different means used by organizations to reduce the perception of uncertainty and complexity which confronts innovation project managers.