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Why software projects escalate: the importance of project management constructs

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4 Author(s)
Keil, M. ; Dept. of Comput. Inf. Syst., Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA, USA ; Arun Rai ; Cheney Mann, J.E. ; Zhang, G.P.

Previous research has documented that software projects are frequently prone to escalation. While the escalation literature acknowledges that project-related (as well as psychological, social, and organizational) factors can promote escalation behavior, there has been no investigation regarding the role that project management factors may have in discriminating between projects that escalate and those that do not. The objective of this study was to explore whether project management constructs could be used to distinguish between projects that escalated and those that did not. Based on a survey administered to IS audit and control professionals, data were gathered on projects that did not escalate as well as those that did escalate. We then applied logistic regression to model the relationship between various project management constructs and project escalation. The model was then evaluated for its ability to correctly classify the projects. The results of our research suggest that a logistic regression model based on project management constructs is capable of discriminating between projects that escalate and those that do not. Moreover, the model compares favorably to a previously published logistic regression model based on constructs derived from escalation theory. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 3 )