What lies beneath: Bounded manageability in complex underground infrastructure projects

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Complex underground infrastructure construction projects tend to develop in a state of “bounded manageability”. Various types of uncertainties are inherent to these projects and put the project manager in front of serious challenges, risking budget overruns, delays and sometimes even technical failure. Managing such a project is a matter of considering the options to keep ambitions and means in balance, without losing control. In practice this means that project managers, when confronted with these uncertainties in their projects, have to make trade-offs that have strong “double-bind” characteristics. With every advantage come serious downsides. This disables them to make optimal decisions. Moreover, a chosen path pre-defines conditions for later trade-offs that were often not considered explicitly when choosing this path. This research provides a new framework for understanding uncertainty in the management of projects. It maps out the typical manageability dilemmas that evolve in complex underground infrastructure projects and comes with suggestions to improve this manageability.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • de Bruijn, J.A., Supervisor
  • Veeneman, W.W., Advisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date15 Sep 2017
Print ISBNs978-94-6233-694-0
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • infrastructure
  • project management
  • uncertainty


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