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’Escalation of Commitment’ as a Force for Good? Evidence from an Indonesian Digital Government Project

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Title:’Escalation of Commitment’ as a Force for Good? Evidence from an Indonesian Digital Government Project
Authors:Priandi, Muhammad
Fernandez, Walter
Sandeep, M.S.
Keywords:Policies and Strategies for Digital Government
digital government
escalation of commitment
grounded theory
Date Issued:07 Jan 2020
Abstract:In extant literature, ‘escalation of commitment’ is viewed as a recommitment of resources to a failing course of action that can lock projects into an ill-fated path of failure. This view portrays all feedback information driving recommitment decisions as “negative” in nature. In this paper we question this portrayal, joining an emerging alternative view that makes no assumptions about the nature of feedback. We take the view that feedback is inherently equivocal, and regard escalation of commitment as decision dilemmas arising out of such equivocality. Drawing on a case study of a digital government project in Indonesia, the paper explores this alternative view by understanding the antecedents of escalation of commitment deployed by key actors in steering a failing project to become a reasonably successful one. Theoretically, the paper suggests that the decision maker’s dilemma is influenced by their personal beliefs, cultural norms and institutional values. The paper presents the notion of “perseverance of commitment”, where escalation of commitment emerges, and is subsequently reinforced through a collective belief-driven reframing mechanism.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Policies and Strategies for Digital Government

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