Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Information Systems

First Advisor

Mark Keil - Chair

Second Advisor

Arjan Raven

Third Advisor

Detmar Straub

Fourth Advisor

Arun Rai


An individual’s bad news reporting behavior has been studied from a number of perspectives and has resulted in a variety of research streams including the MUM effect (or reluctance to transmit bad news), whistle-blowing, and organizational silence. While many scholars in different areas have studied reporting behavior, it has not been widely discussed in the information systems literature. This dissertation research addresses an individual’s bad news reporting behavior (and its antecedents) in the troubled IT project context. Many social phenomena are multi-causal (Hollander 1971). The silence phenomenon involved in an individual’s bad news reporting behavior is multi-causal too. While prior research has identified many antecedents to the bad news reporting behavior, it has not provided any systematic approach for categorizing them. In this dissertation, the antecedents are categorized into three different levels: personal factors (i.e., individual-level factors), situational factors (i.e., project-level factors), and organizational factors. This research empirically investigates how the antecedents at different levels affect (i.e., encourage or discourage) an individual’s decision to report or not report bad news in the IT project context. The dissertation follows a multi-paper model, and includes three independent, empirical studies, each with its own research model focusing on personal, situational, and organizational factors.