Analysis of escalation of commitment is used to highlight the differences between two paradigms in the study of decision making. The rational paradigm proposes that escalation is a dysfunctional response to failure (Staw and Ross 1987). A single-option paradigm, developed in this paper, proposes that it is a necessary response to uncertainty which may, but not necessarily, result in failure. Analysis of the decision-making process of President Bush prior to Operation Desert Storm highlights the differences between the two paradigms and demonstrates how they provide different interpretations and evaluations of a given decision process.
- Descriptors: decision-making
- escalation of commitment
- rational choice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation