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Title: De-escalation of commitment in software projects: Who matters? What matters?
Authors: Heng, C.-S.
Tan, B.C.Y. 
Wei, K.-K. 
Keywords: De-escalation of commitment
Provide assurance
Shoulder blame
Software projects
Sunk cost
Issue Date: 2003
Citation: Heng, C.-S., Tan, B.C.Y., Wei, K.-K. (2003). De-escalation of commitment in software projects: Who matters? What matters?. Information and Management 41 (1) : 99-110. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Through de-escalation of commitment (DoC), software projects with poor prospects for success may be sensibly abandoned and precious resources channeled to more productive uses. In spite of its importance, there has been little research on factors contributing to DoC in software projects. Using a laboratory experiment, this study investigates the impact of individuals (superiors and peers) and approach (shoulder blame and provide assurance) on DoC under varying conditions of sunk cost (high versus low). Results showed that, under conditions of low sunk cost, superiors who helped to shoulder blame (the shelter strategy) or provide assurance (the support strategy) appeared to be useful in facilitating DoC. Peers who helped to shoulder blame (the sharing strategy) or provide assurance (the sympathy strategy) also appeared to be useful in facilitating DoC, with the former strategy being particularly effective. But under conditions of high sunk cost, none of these four strategies appeared to be able to facilitate DoC. Implications of these results for practice are discussed. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Information and Management
ISSN: 03787206
DOI: 10.1016/S0378-7206(03)00030-2
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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