The Binding and Blinding Influence of Project Commitment

The Binding and Blinding Influence of Project Commitment

Melinda L. Korzaan (Department of Computer Information Systems (CIS), Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, USA) and Nita G. Brooks (Department of Computer Information Systems (CIS), Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/irmj.2015010104

Abstract

Proper management of information technology (IT) projects remains important within organizations; they require tremendous investment and consume valuable resources. To enhance one's understanding of IT projects and the continued issue of project failure, this study develops a model of the psychological influences of IT project commitment for individuals working on IT projects and its influence on intentions to continue an IT project (ICITP). Survey responses from 232 individuals across several organizations were obtained, and structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. Three forms of project commitment (affective, continuance, and normative), subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control – internal were significant predictors of ICITP, explaining 64% of the variance. Additionally, continuance commitment and perceived behavioral control – internal were found to explain 46% of the variance in affective commitment. Implications and directions for future research are provided.
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2. Project Commitment Review

The theoretical concept of commitment has been researched across several domains including management, psychology, and information systems and in various contexts including commitment to an opinion, goal, project, and organization (Kiesler, 1971; Wofford, Goodwin, & Premack, 1992; Abrahamsson, 2002; Akgun, Lynn, Keskin, & Dogan, 2014). Commitment is generally described as individuals being bound to behavioral acts (Kiesler, 1971). In the context of IT projects, a lack of commitment has been proposed to be an early warning sign of failure (Kappleman, et al., 2006).

Commitment exerts “freezing” properties such that it “binds” an existing behavior, attitude, or course of action (Kiesler, 1971). In terms of goal theory, commitment is “one’s attachment or determination to reach a goal, regardless of where the goal came from” (Locke, et al., 1988, p. 125). In the organizational literature, commitment has been viewed as an attitudinal construct reflecting a psychological state of attachment (Meyer & Allen, 1991). Based upon these descriptions, IT project commitment is viewed as an attitudinal, psychological state that reflects the degree of attachment or “binding” an individual experiences toward a project and is theoretically similar to organizational commitment (Abrahamsson, 2002).

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