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How to Turn Around: Escalation of Commitment in the Context of ISD Project Distress

Event: International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), 11.12.2022


While information systems development (ISD) projects play a pivotal role in maintaining a competitive advantage, ISD project distress evolves dramatically. Given the complex and dynamic nature of ISD projects, they are prone to Escalation of Commitment (EoC), the irrational tendency to persist with failing courses of action. While EoC has been studied to a great extent in management and psychology literature, research on its role in the context of ISD project distress is fragmented, making it challenging to develop de-escalation strategies. To address this gap, we conduct a literature review on EoC in the context of ISD project distress. The proposed nomological net including triggering factors, consequences, mediators, and moderators, as well as a set of developed de-escalation strategies can serve as an inspiration and foundation for future IS researchers. By presenting this review we hope to inform future IS research to acknowledge the role of EoC in ISD projects.

Carolin Marx, Falk Uebernickel

11 Dec 2022