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Keywords:

  • Anticipatory Emotions;
  • Completion Effect;
  • and Escalation of Commitment

ABSTRACT

This study extends research on the escalation of commitment phenomenon by investigating decision makers' tendency to look forward to project completion and develop anticipatory perceptions and emotions concerning goal attainment. We examine the influence of two project-specific predictors of escalation (level of progress and presence of an alternative project) on perceived uncertainty and the extent to which anticipatory emotions (i.e., current affective reactions to possible future events) mediate the influence of uncertainty on levels of commitment to a failing project. Results indicated that level of progress and the presence of an alternative project affected uncertainty, which influenced anticipatory emotions. Lower levels of uncertainty and higher levels of positive anticipatory emotions increased the tendency to escalate commitment.