The Effect of Decision Risk and Project Stage on Escalation of Commitment
ScienceDirect, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 103 (2007) 225–237
13 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2015
Date Written: March 1, 2007
We investigate the joint effects of decision risk and the stage of project completion on escalation of commitment. In two experiments, we demonstrate that the effect of decision risk is moderated by project stage such that the decision risk has the strongest effect on escalation of commitment at the intermediate stage of project completion. This is due to the dynamic influences underlying escalation of commitment. Whereas the need for project information influences resource commitment at the initial stage of a project, the need for project completion afefcts resource allocation at the terminal stage. In contrast, motivation to commit resources is disproportionately low at the intermediate stage since both the need for project information and the need for project completion are relatively weak. As such, the decision to commit resources is most sensitive to the moderating effect of decision risk when the project is about half complete.
Keywords: Escalation of commitment; Decision risk; Project stage; Project information; Project completion; Risk taking; Sunk cost
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation