The second dissertation essay looks at how project characteristics might make a manager more (or less) likely to escalate commitment towards a failing project. We explore this issue in the hitherto unexplored real options setting.
Escalation of commitment Author: Dr Simon Moss Overview. Individuals often persist unduly with unsuccessful initiatives or courses of action. To illustrate, some advertisements do not increase the sales or reputation of the products they promote.
What is escalation of commitment? The terms was first used by Barry M. Staw in “Knee deep in the big muddy: A study of escalating commitment to a chosen course of action,” published in Organizational Behavior and Human Performance in 1976.
Escalating commitment (or escalation) refers to the tendency for decision makers to persist with failing courses of action. The present article first reviews evidence suggesting that escalation is determined, at least in part, by decision makers' unwillingness to admit that their prior allocation of resources to the chosen course of action was in vain (the self-justification explanation). A.
Escalating commitment, according to Dr. Barry Staw’s definition, refers to a pattern of behavior in which an individual or a group will continue to rationalize their decisions, actions, and investments in an investment when faced with increasingly negative outcomes rather than alter.
Escalating commitment is a common and costly phenomenon in software projects in which decision-makers continue to invest resources to a failing course of action.
Escalating commitment can actually affect the outcome. The chance of success with this bonding strategy is possibly the source of irrational application in other areas, where escalation of commitment can't possibly have a positive effect on the outcome.
When an important venture seems to unravel, decision makers may face a dilemma. Do they persist and risk becoming caught up in a spiral of escalating commitment, or “apply the brakes” when they may be within an ace of success? Escalation of commitment is thought to be a ubiquitous and costly mistake. Yet sometimes organizations should “press on the accelerator” and stay the course.