Megaprojects and contested information

  • De Bruijn H
  • Leijten M
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Abstract

Good information is a key to good decision-making on large infrastructure projects. Decision-making is information-sensitive and empirical research shows that a lack of information may result in poor decision-making. The solution seems clear: more, better and timelier information. This recommendation is too simple because much information is 'contested'. This article deals with three issues related to information and large infrastructure projects. First, the concept of contested knowledge is introduced. The stronger the different interests of the main actors, the stronger the incentives will be to make information more contested and devalue it. Second, if the contested character of information is denied, what are the implications for decision-making? If information is contested and actors look for objective information, the role of information will be devalued rather than strengthened. Finally, what strategies can cope with the contested character of information? The result of these strategies is negotiated knowledge rather than objective knowledge.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Decision-making
  • Information
  • Negotiated knowledge
  • Process management
  • Strategy

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Authors

  • Hans De Bruijn

  • Martijn Leijten

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