Escalation is considered a costly problem that occurs frequently in IT projects. Project escalation has been a major issue in academic research for several decades. According to the relevant literature, the factors that contribute to escalation can be mainly categorised into tangible and intangible; more specifically, project and organizational factors are seen as tangible risks that can hinder project success. A brief overview of a risk categorization framework is presented here for its validity in identifying project escalation factors. In contrast, the IS literature deals primarily with intangible factors, as it provides a solid theoretical base for understanding escalation as a social phenomenon. Within this context, four prominent theories (self-justification theory, prospect theory, agency theory and approach avoidance theory) are discussed and contrasted for their relative applicability for explaining escalation of commitment. Moreover, escalation is reviewed as a phenomenon and suggestions for further research are also presented (for example, certain considerations on de-escalation).
How to Cite:
Ali, M.W., 2007. Project escalation and IT management. iSCHANNEL, 2(1), pp.11–14.