Overcoming ignorance and the unknown in UAE projects: the role of improvisation

Alya J. Abuseem, Udechukwu Ojiako, Fikri T. Dweiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study sets out to examine how the effects of ignorance and the unknown in project settings can be overcome through project manager (practitioner) improvisation. Data are obtained from 389 project management practitioners drawn from a range of public, private, and semi-government entities/organizations within the emirate of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates). Sampling is undertaking using an 11 factor 'ignorance–unknown–improvisation'-focused questionnaire developed from the literature. The variables considered as moderators include 'self-efficacy', 'behavioral integration', 'experience', 'teamwork quality', 'real-time information', 'communication', 'memory', 'knowledge creation', 'knowledge sharing', 'utilization of documented knowledge', and 'age'. Analysis of the data is via Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference Systems (ANFIS). The findings of the study suggest the existence of four variables ('experience', 'teamwork quality', 'memory', and 'age') that serve to influence the improvisation-based practices that project management practitioners/managers are likely to employ when seeking to overcome the effects of ignorance and the unknown in projects. The findings from the study do facilitate the development of an improvisation-awareness typology that is leaning towards facilitating project management practitioner efficacy as relates to improvisation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of System Assurance Engineering and Management
Early online date27 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Sept 2023


  • ignorance
  • improvisation
  • project management
  • project success


Dive into the research topics of 'Overcoming ignorance and the unknown in UAE projects: the role of improvisation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this