Description

This study analyzes how information influences decision making in escalation of situations. In those situations decision makers follow a losing course of action and invest further resources even when accounting information indicates that the project is performing poorly and should be discontinued. We conducted two experiments with Chinese participants and used a replication of Staw’s (1976) often cited case. Our study investigates how different levels of information load influence escalation of commitment of Chinese participants. Contrary to the prior findings in Germany, we find that Chinese decision makers do not escalate when facing different levels of information load. These results, in light of prior studies that find a comparatively strong escalation tendency of Chinese decision makers, are explained along with the limitations and further research.

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Aug 10th, 12:00 AM

Information load, escalation of commitment and culture - an experimental study

This study analyzes how information influences decision making in escalation of situations. In those situations decision makers follow a losing course of action and invest further resources even when accounting information indicates that the project is performing poorly and should be discontinued. We conducted two experiments with Chinese participants and used a replication of Staw’s (1976) often cited case. Our study investigates how different levels of information load influence escalation of commitment of Chinese participants. Contrary to the prior findings in Germany, we find that Chinese decision makers do not escalate when facing different levels of information load. These results, in light of prior studies that find a comparatively strong escalation tendency of Chinese decision makers, are explained along with the limitations and further research.