Articles

Understanding Behavior in Escalation Situations

Science  13 Oct 1989:
Vol. 246, Issue 4927, pp. 216-220
DOI: 10.1126/science.246.4927.216

Abstract

Everyday observation reveals that both individuals and organizations often become overly committed to losing courses of action; in a sense, throwing good money after bad. More than 10 years of research on this escalation problem shows that persistence is associated with at least four major clases of determinants: project, psychological, social, and organizational variables. The influence of these four sets of variables evolves over time, forming a dynamic model of behavior in escalation situations.

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