Escalation and De-Escalation of Commitment to Information Technology Projects: A Commitment Transformation Analysis of an E-Government Project
Information Systems Journal 16(1), 2006, pp. 3-21
Posted: 21 Apr 2013
Date Written: February 21, 2006
This paper presents a commitment transformation framework for analysing the change in actors’ commitment during the transition from escalation to deescalation in information technology projects. De-escalation is potentially a more important issue than escalation because de-escalation provides remedies for the ills of escalation. Therefore, it is important to understand how stakeholders may bias facts in the direction of previously accepted beliefs and thus prevent an organization from de-escalating. Here, we adopt Lewin’s change theory to examine the commitment transformation during the transition from escalation to de-escalation of an e-government project in a local council in the United Kingdom. By conceiving actors’ commitment transformation as an ‘unfreezing–changing–refreezing’ process, researchers may develop a deeper understanding of how actors may give up previous failing course of action and accept an alternative course of action. Practitioners can also utilize the framework in post-mortem analyses of projects which have faced escalation to devise useful de-escalation strategies for future project development.
Keywords: escalation of commitment, de-escalation of commitment, e-government
JEL Classification: M40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation