Date of Award

Summer 7-28-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Information Systems

First Advisor

Mark Keil

Second Advisor

Detmar Straub

Third Advisor

Balasubramaniam Ramesh

Fourth Advisor

Edward Rigdon


IT project failure is an enduring problem which has often been associated with bad news reporting and escalation of commitment. The literature in bad news reporting has focused on identifying factors (e.g., organizational climate of silence) that could influence one’s reporting decision. Similarly, the de-escalation literature has primarily investigated conditions or activities (e.g., changes in top management) which promote de-escalation. Nonetheless, what is missing in our understanding is how affect can influence bad news reporting and de-escalation decisions within IT projects. This represents a significant gap in bad news reporting and de-escalation research, as affect (i.e., mood and emotions) is recognized as a fundamental aspect of human life which strongly influences individual perceptions, judgment, and decision making. The aim of this dissertation to provide new insights regarding how affect can influence bad news reporting decisions and de-escalation of commitment within the context of troubled IT projects.