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Title: An investigation into organizational commitment in the investment decision-making process: escalation, de-escalation and strategic control
Authors: Qing, Zhang
Keywords: Investment
Decision-making
Commitment
Escalation
De-escalation
Strategic control
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: © Zhang Qing
Abstract: This research aims to investigate organizational commitment in the investment decision-making process around the themes of escalation, de-escalation and strategicc ontrol. This research involves a synergic chain of various methods such as narrative review, meta-analytical synthesis, archival analysis, case study, field experiment, and survey. The research per se follows the COAI design (i.e. conceptualization, operationalization, actualization and idealization) and goes through eight stages (i.e. 8Cs): conceiving, contriving, controlling, co-or'dinating, calibrating, conducting, collecting, and concentering the research. The results of the review of previous research on escalation of commitment in the investment decision-making context reveal that the literature on the escalation and de-escalation of organizational commitment is discrete and quantitatively focused. The results of the meta-analytical synthesis of the escalating commitment literatures confirm that the escalating commitment literature is inconsistent. The results of the longitudinal case study via participant observation reveal that escalating commitment can originate from, inter alia, psychological, strategic, operational, social, political, institutional, ideological. and environmental dilemmas and that the processes can be cyclically interweaved by varying conflicting perceived utilities including, those of experimenting, persisting, time-biding, and withdrawing. The results of two field experiments reveal that, contrary to earlier research, the higher the sunk costs the less likely investment decision-makers are to authorize funds to continue with the string of investments and the lower their estimates are of the likelihood that the next investment will be productive. The results of the survey by means of semi-structured interview provide a statistical confirmation of the relevance of a conceptualized process model of strategic control and reveal that the Chinese general managers interviewed ascribed a higher level of importance to the idealization phase of strategic control and exposed some discernible weaknesses in the process of strategic control. The research concludes with an explanation of the role of strategic control over investments and with a tentative framework for the practical strategic control of investments. This research recommends that future practice should focus on the effective management of investments in a way which integrates differing rationalities in the full organizational context; it should address the dynamics of organizational commitment in a broader way which covers, inter alia, economic, psychological, political, operational, environmental, social, cultural and institutional perspectives; and it should emphasize both external and internal strategic control factors inherent in the decision-making process in a manner which echoes the principle of unity. It is also recommended that future research should include new research inquiry systems, new research frameworks, new research techniques, and new research dimensions in both the laboratory (e. g. virtual reality) and the real world settings (e. g. longitudinal observation and cross-cultural comparative studies).
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/7097
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Business School)

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