Comparison of Allocations by Individuals and Interacting Groups in an Escalation of Commitment Situation1

Authors

  • Scott E. Seibert,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Management and Labor Relations Cleveland State University
      Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Scott E. Seibert, Department of Management and Labor Relations, College of Business Administration, Cleveland State University, 1860 East 18th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114-3610. e-mail: S.Seibert@csuohio.edu
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  • Sonia M. Goltz

    1. School of Business and Economics Michigan Technological University
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  • 1

    An earlier version of this work was presented at the August 1995 meetings of the Academy of Management, Vancouver, BC, Canada. We wish to thank Ed Conlon, Mike Crant, and Maria Kraimer for their comments on earlier versions of this article.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Scott E. Seibert, Department of Management and Labor Relations, College of Business Administration, Cleveland State University, 1860 East 18th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114-3610. e-mail: S.Seibert@csuohio.edu

Abstract

In this study, individuals and interacting 3-person groups were asked to make a series of allocation decisions using a modified version of the A&S decision case (Staw, 1976). Based on the choice-shift effect, it was hypothesized that groups would allocate more to a failing course of action than would individuals, and that these differences would emerge only after repeated sequential decisions. Both hypotheses were supported. These findings suggest that processes unique to groups account for the greater allocations of groups, relative to individuals in escalation situations. The implications of these findings in applied settings are discussed.

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