Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


David G. Duby


Project Manager, Confidence, Risk Awareness, Overconfidence, Overoptimism


Business | Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods


The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship between project manager confidence and the ability to assess risk during the early planning stages for a new product development project in a business environment. The problem addressed was that a project manager’s confidence level may lead to insufficient risk awareness and contribute to project failure. The study was conducted among 257 project manager practitioners in the US. The study expanded on the research conducted by Fabricius and Büttgen (2015) which found that project manager overconfidence affects expectations of project success and plays a critical role in the inaccurate assessment of project risk during project planning. A secondary correlation analysis (excluding outliers) found a statistically significant result leading the researcher to reject the null hypothesis, meaning there is evidence to show that overconfident project managers exhibit lower risk awareness. The study has practical implications to project manager practitioners by raising the awareness of understanding how project managers influence risk management in their projects as a prelude to potential project success or failure.