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Decision-making in an uncertain world: A major sta ke in risk management Haut de page
Making decisions basically means to select an action scheme among different alternatives according to some preference criteria, while anticipating the consequences of these decisions.
In a well-known and steady world with clear and shared options, decisions remain simple and only consist in choosing among basic concepts followed by the application of procedures.
However, our world is more and more submitted to multiple hazards producing disturbances in technical, economic, environmental or financial fields.

We are then facing many uncertainties that may be issued by various sources:

  • uncertainty about information and data, through the difficulties arising from the lack of knowledge on them, the reliability and accuracy on their measurement, their quantification and their interpretation;

  • uncertainty about models used to explain the links between these data and which generate a wide variability in results;

  • uncertainty on the relevance of theories and models used to understand our technical world, environment and organizations which decision strategies are related to;
  • uncertainty about understanding the various types of complexity that mix up our decision making process, including those related to human reliability;
  • uncertainty about our own decision criteria.

To deal with all these uncertainty sources, risk management provides a wide set of approaches, methods, techniques, tools which can be used to make the relevant and good decisions.

Therefore one has to point out a powerful decision making repository, promoted as such by international standards such as ISO 31000, which can guide
the set of decisions to be taken in various fields: industry, services, sociotechnical, health, justice, cyber security…
To do so, risk management activities involve specific know-how, as well as various skills related to: deterministic or probabilistic tools, human
factors and organizational representation systems, cindynics approach disclosing unexpected risks as well as opportunities bringing possible benefit.

A better understanding of these disciplines is therefore a major challenge for decision makers. Hence, main topics of 19th lambda-mu symposium will encompass decision making methods, technics and tools, including uncertainty factors which usually underpin decision scenarios. May this 2014 edition show how progress achieved in the various risk management disciplines are profitable to help leading people in various companies and fields to make the best and relevant decisions. May it also help them to develop and maintain systems and organizations they are in charge of, in order to reach the expected technical and economic results during all their life-cycle and in all the environments where they are operated.

Emmanuel ARBARETIER, EADS-APSYS
Program committee chair Person