Causality analysis of decision entrapment
"Decision entrapment" refers to the phenomenon that decision-makers commit to the negative or failure choices, and tend to throw more resources in some projects that seem to fail certainly. We try to combine two contradictory viewpoints, self-justification vs. information-processing perspectives, to clarify the causality of decision entrapment through experimental approach. Staw suggests that the emotional “self-justification" is the major mechanism of decision entrapment. Adopting the information-processing perspective, Kahneman & Tversky propose that “certainty effect" bring about perception distortion, which is the main cause of entrapment behavior. We used computer programs to simulate a decision-making scenario, and manipulated “personal responsibility" and "project output" variables. The subjects are middle-leveled (and above) managers from 5 companies, and were asked to play the role of general managers in the simulated task. The result doesn't support the self-justification perspective, but verifies certainty effect of prospect theory. We then propose some management techniques to prevent and correct entrapment behavior.
Entrapment Behavior, Self-justification, Prospect Theory, Certainty Effect, Experimental Approach
Applied Behavior Analysis | Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Journal of Management
SAGE Publications (UK and US)
LIN, Chia-Wu, CHENG, Bor-Shiuan, & TSAI, Ming-Hong.(2000). Causality analysis of decision entrapment. Journal of Management, 17(3), 515-546.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/2190