- The Oxford Handbook of Megaproject Management
- List of Illustrations
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: The Iron Law of Megaproject Management
- Has Megaproject Management Lost Its Way?: Lessons from History
- Cycles in Megaproject Development
- Big Is Fragile: An Attempt at Theorizing Scale
- Institutional Challenges and Solutions for Global Megaprojects
- Megaproject Decision Making and Management: Ethical and Political Issues
- Biggest Infrastructure Bubble Ever?: City and Nation Building with Debt-Financed Megaprojects in China
- Did Megaproject Research Pioneer Behavioral Economics?: The Case of Albert O. Hirschman
- Megaproject Escalation of Commitment: An Update and Appraisal
- Megaprojects as Games of Innovation
- Power and Sensemaking in Megaprojects
- A Collective-Action Perspective on the Planning of Megaprojects
- Understanding Drivers of Megaevents in Emerging Economies
- Innovation and Flexibility in Megaprojects: A New Delivery Model
- Megaproject Stakeholder Management
- Private Finance: What Problems Does It Solve, and How Well?
- Wider Impacts of Megaprojects: Curse or Cure?
- Quality Assurance in Megaproject Management: The Norwegian Way
- The Good Megadam: Does It Exist, All Things Considered?
- Cracking the Code of Megaproject Innovation: The Case of Boeing’s 787
- The Power of Systems Integration: Lessons from London 2012
- Iconic Urban Megaprojects in a Global Context: Revisiting Bilbao
- Private Provision of Public Services: The Case of Australia’s Motorways
- Megaprojects as Political Symbols: South Africa’s Gautrain
- Large Dam Development: From Trojan Horse to Pandora’s Box
Abstract and Keywords
Megaprojects frequently go awry. Not only do a good many take a lot longer and cost a lot more than expected; the benefits may fall far short of what was promised. A question that has puzzled scholars is why organizations persist when it becomes abundantly clear that important expectations will not be met. This chapter explores a phenomenon known as “escalation of commitment.” Escalation theorists believe that once megaprojects get underway, decision makers are likely to experience mounting pressures to persist—regardless. Four main questions are addressed. How does escalation start? What drives decision makers to reinvest in economically poor megaprojects? What can decision makers do to curb project “run-aways”? How can research best help decision makers to make better—that is, more economically wise–decisions?
Helga Drummond is a Professor of Decision Sciences in University of Liverpool Management School and Visiting Professor of Business, Gresham College London
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