How Self Justification Is Drives Escalation Of Commitment

1498 Words6 Pages
The article, “How self-justification indirectly drives escalation of commitment - a motivational perspective”, examines different influences on decision-making. It demonstrates that people possess the need for self-justification and that self-justification drives the escalation of commitment. Steinkuhler, Mahlendorf, & Brettel (2014) argue that the escalation of commitment phenomenon results from indirect cognitive processes such as selective perception sunk cost, and over-optimism ( p.66). The article also details various studies conducted to validate findings on how cognitive processes further propel the escalation of commitment effect. This paper summarizes the Steinkuhler, Mahlendorf, & Brettel findings. It also provides a more detailed example of how a major product launch from Mattel ended in failure in part because of selective perception. Escalation of Commitment There are times when executives make decisions without being certain of a particular outcome. They take risk. Unfortunately, taking risk can lead to loss. Loss can be in the form of money, time, reputation etc. Escalation of commitment occurs “when decision makers escalate their commitment by continuing to invest resources and persist beyond an economically rational point” to terminate a failing project (Steinkuhler, Mahlendorf, & Brettel, 2014, p. 192). Let’s take the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. President George W. Bush led the world to believe Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass

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