Bent Flyvbjerg

Bent Flyvbjerg

BT Professor and Chair of Major Programme Management


Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street
Oxford
OX1 1HP

Profile

Bent Flyvbjerg is the first BT Professor and inaugural Chair of Major Programme Management at Saïd Business School and a Professorial Fellow of St Anne’s College.

Bent Flyvbjerg is the first BT Professor and inaugural Chair of Major Programme Management at Oxford University's Saïd Business School. He works for better management of megaprojects and cities. He is the most cited scholar in the world on megaprojects. He is #1 on each of Google Scholar’s global-citation ranking lists in: Project Management, Planning, Infrastructure, and Cities.

Flyvbjerg is the author or editor of 10 books and 200+ papers, translated into 20 languages. He has pioneered research in behavioural science, including the influence of power on rationality, strategic misrepresentation, optimism bias, the planning fallacy, and reference class forecasting. Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman calls Flyvbjerg's work on reference class forecasting and how to deal with the planning fallacy, 'the single most important piece of advice regarding how to increase accuracy in forecasting' (Thinking, Fast and Slow, p. 251). Flyvbjerg also writes about the philosophy and methodology of social science, and especially phronesis.

Flyvbjerg is founder and co-founder of a dozen highly successful research groups, degree programmes, and startups. He loves building new ventures from scratch, securing their success academically, professionally, and/or commercially.

He has received numerous honours and awards, including a knighthood and two Fulbright Scholarships.

Flyvbjerg’s research has been covered by Nature, Science, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Financial Times, China Daily, The BBC, CNN, National Geographic, etc. He is a frequent commentator in the news.

He has 30 years of experience as an adviser to government and business, including the US, UK, and Chinese governments and Fortune 500 companies. He is an external advisor to McKinsey & Co. He has worked on some of the largest projects in the world, on all aspects from front-end planning, delivery, and postmortems to rescue of failing projects. He advises ministers, boards, and C-suites on how to deliver their projects successfully.

Flyvbjerg is chairman of Oxford Global Projects.

Wikipedia

Papers

Books

 

 

Research

Bent developed the research methodology called 'phronetic social science'.

This is described in his books Making social science matterReal social science: Applied phronesis and Rationality and power, and he has employed the methodology in studies of megaprojects and city management.

In 2005, Bent identified two main causes of misinformation in management and policy: strategic misrepresentation (deception) and optimism bias (delusion). Bent and his associates have developed methods to curb misinformation focused on improved accountability and reference class forecasting. The methods are being used in policy and practice; both in management and planning. In 2011, Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel prize in economics and godfather of behavioural economics, singled out Bent's research on reference class forecasting as 'the single most important piece of advice regarding how to increase accuracy in forecasting' (Thinking, Fast and Slow, p. 251).

Bent has lent his name to the so-called 'Flyvbjerg Debate', which is a debate over the role of social science in society in response to his book Making Social Science Matter. His research is widely cited in academia, policy, practice and media.

 

 

Publications

On de-bunking “Fake News” in the post-truth era: how to reduce statistical error in research(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
  • Bent Flyvbjerg,
  • Atif Ansar,
  • Alexander Budzier,
  • S Buhl,
  • C Cantarelli,
  • M Garbuio,
  • C Glenting,
  • D Lovallo,
  • E Molin,
  • A Rønnest,
  • Allison Stewart,
  • B Van Wee
Mega Project Management
Technology and Operations Management

Five things you should know about cost overrun(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
  • Bent Flyvbjerg,
  • Atif Ansar,
  • Alexander Budzier,
  • S Buhl,
  • C Cantarelli,
  • M Garbuio,
  • C Glenting,
  • D Lovallo,
  • Daniel Lunn,
  • E Molin,
  • A Rønnest,
  • A Stewart,
  • B van Wee
Mega Project Management
Technology and Operations Management
  • B Flyvbjerg
Mega Project Management
Technology and Operations Management

Preface to the Chinese Edition of Megaprojects and Risk: An Anatomy of Ambition.

  • Chapter
  • Megaprojects and Risk: An Anatomy of Ambition
  • B Flyvbjerg,
  • N Bruzelius,
  • W Rothengatter
Mega Project Management
Technology and Operations Management

Do classics exist in megaproject management?(opens in new window)

  • Journal article
  • International Journal of Project Management
  • B Flyvbjerg,
  • JR Turner
Mega Project Management
Technology and Operations Management
See more publications

Engagement

Bent emphasises policy, practice and media engagement in order to secure impact for his research outside the academy.

Bent has 25+ years of experience as consultant and adviser to government and business, including the UK and US governments, several Fortune 500 companies, major banks, the EU Commission, the United Nations, national audit offices and regulatory bodies. Sectors covered include transportation, infrastructure, IT, energy, health, education, construction, urban regeneration, change management, and nation building.

He has consulted on some of the largest projects in the world, from High-Speed 2 in the UK and the California High-Speed Rail project, each the largest civil construction project ever in their respective countries, to projects with thousands of schools and health clinics in Asia and Africa, large dams in the Nordic Countries, and change management projects in IT in Europe. He has also worked on dozens of other large projects in both developed and developing nations in the East and West.

Bent has served as an external consultant to McKinsey & Company, Ernest & Young, and Gartner.

Bent has 25+ years of experience as an op-ed writer, commentator, and source for media such as The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Economist, Science, The BBC, Charlie Rose, and many others.

Teaching

Bent is Academic Director of Oxford's MSc in Major Programme Management.

He teaches on the programme and supervises DPhil students in major programme management. He also teaches on the School’s executive education programmes and was instrumental in bringing the UK Cabinet Office's Major Projects Leadership Academy to Oxford, teaching on this programme for leading civil servants.

Finally, Bent teaches on the School's MBA programme and in the Blavatnik School of Government's Master of Public Policy.

Teaching:

  • MSc Major Programme Management
  • DPhil Major Programme Management
  • Major Projects Leadership Academy
  • Oxford MBA

Social media

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