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26-29 May 2015
Europe/Berlin timezone
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Contribution Complete Research Paper

Fürstenberghaus - F153
16 - Methods, Tools and Human Factors in IS/IT Management

The Impact of Creativity and Information Load on Escalation of Commitment


  • Peter Gordon ROETZEL

Primary authors


This experimental study analyzes how two key factors, information load and creativity, influence decision making in escalation situations in which decision makers reinvest further resources in a losing course of action even when information indicates that the IT project is performing poorly and should be discontinued. Whereas previous studies focus on the complexity of information, this study investigates how different quantities of information influence escalation of commitment and how information load interacts with a decision maker’s interpretation of negative feedback regarding earlier decisions. In situations in which escalation of commitment can occur, infor-mation load is relevant for decision making for two reasons. First, in escalation situations in which decision makers face negative feedback, information load exacerbates the tendency to escalate commitment. Second, when an escalation tendency is absent, information load can lead to a decision to continue a losing course of action, which can be mistaken for escalation of commitment. Furthermore, decision makers with a higher level of creativity tend to invest more than decision makers with a lower level of creativity. Surprisingly, creative decision makers do not change their behavior when facing negative consequences while less creative decision mak-ers show an escalation of commitment tendency.