Escalation is a common and costly problem among IT projects. Although the potential of de-escalation of commitment to failing courses of action has been much heralded, many such efforts may result in failure due to constituencies biasing facts in the direction of previously accepted beliefs, and therefore, prevent an organization from de-escalating. Here, we adopt Lewin’s change framework to examine the commitment transformation during the transition from escalation to de-escalation of an eprocurement project in a local government organization in UK. Our findings suggest that the entire process of ‘unfreezing-changing-refreezing’ was enacted through the deployment of behaviour disconfirmation, psychological safety creation, and development, alignment and integration of new attitudes and behaviours. The research and practical implications of these findings are explored.
Pan, Gary SC; Pan, Shan L.; Newman, Michael; and Flynn, Donal, "'Unfreezing-Changing-Refreezing' of Actors' Commitment: The Transition from Escalation to De-Escalation of Commitment to Information Technology Projects" (2004). ECIS 2004 Proceedings. 120.