Escalation and De-Escalation of Commitment to Information Systems Projects: Insights from a Project Evaluation Model

European Journal of Operational Research 173(3), 2006, pp. 1139-1160

Posted: 21 Apr 2013

See all articles by Shan Pan

Shan Pan

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Gary Pan

Singapore Management University - School of Accountancy

Mike Newman

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School

Donal Flynn

Independent

Date Written: September 21, 2006

Abstract

This paper outlines a project evaluation model for examining escalation and de-escalation of commitment to information systems projects. We view escalation and de-escalation of commitment as processes involving recurring instances of approach-avoidance conflict. In the model, the sequential mapping of project events is integrated with a model of approach-avoidance conflict that identifies periods of gradual evolution at two separate levels of social analysis (project and work) that are punctuated by sudden, revolutionary periods of rapid change. By conceiving the processes of commitment escalation and de-escalation as sequences of events involving approach-avoidance conflicts, researchers may develop a deeper understanding of how and why projects escalate and de-escalate. Practitioners can also utilize the evaluation model in the analyses of projects that have faced escalation to diagnose the issues surrounding the escalation and devise useful de-escalation strategies for future project development. The evaluation model is developed and illustrated with a case study that exhibits both project escalation and de-escalation conditions.

Keywords: Escalation and de-escalation of commitment to information system projects; Project evaluation model; Approach-avoidance

JEL Classification: M40

Suggested Citation

Pan, Shan and Pan, Gary and Newman, Mike and Flynn, Donal, Escalation and De-Escalation of Commitment to Information Systems Projects: Insights from a Project Evaluation Model (September 21, 2006). European Journal of Operational Research 173(3), 2006, pp. 1139-1160. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2254471

Shan Pan

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

Bukit Timah Road 469 G
Singapore, 117591
Singapore

Gary Pan (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - School of Accountancy ( email )

60 Stamford Road
Singapore 178900
Singapore

Mike Newman

University of Manchester - Manchester Business School ( email )

Booth Street West
Manchester, M15 6PB
United Kingdom

Donal Flynn

Independent ( email )

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