Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 36 Number 1 2019 pp. 120-157

A Risk Mitigation Framework for Information Technology Projects: A Cultural Contingency Perspective

Maruping, Likoebe M, Venkatesh, Viswanath, Thong, James Y L, and Zhang, Xiaojun


As new information technology (IT) platforms continue to emerge, the technical project risk associated with developing IT projects for these platforms is particularly challenging for organizations. We develop a nomological network of people, process, and technology to gain insight into how the effect of technical project risk can be mitigated at the IT project team level. Drawing on cultural contingency theory, the IT project risk framework, and the IT project management literature, we elaborate on the IT project team composition and team processes necessary to mitigate technical project risk. We tested the nomological network by conducting a field study of 325 IT project teams over a 3-year period at a large corporation in China. We found that project risk mitigation processes mediated the effect of IT project teams’ cultural composition on IT project performance, and the effect of these processes on IT project performance was stronger under high levels of technical project risk compared to low levels of such risk. By incorporating the cultural contingency theory into developing a nomological network of technical risk mitigation processes, this work not only contributes to the IT project management literature, but also provides suggestions for practitioners on how to better leverage people, process, and technology in mitigating IT project risks.

Key words and phrases: IT projects, technical risk, team processes, cultural contingency theory, risk mitigation, project management, project risk