Overcoming the MUM effect in it project reporting: The effect of time pressure and blame shifting

Chongwoo Park, Ghi Paul Im, Mark Keil

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Troubled projects are a common problem in the information systems field. While there is a natural reluctance to report the actual status of a troubled project, doing so is sometimes the only way that the project can be brought to senior management's attention so that corrective actions can be taken to successfully turn the project around if possible, or abandon it if necessary. Prior research has suggested that the ability to save face and time pressure are two variables that may impact bad news reporting. In this paper, we examine the effect that a blame shifting opportunity (as a mechanism for saving face) has on an individual's assessment of whether a troubled project's status ought to be reported and on that individual's willingness to report. We also examine the effect that perceived time urgency has on all three constructs in the basic whistle-blowing model adapted from Dozier and Miceli (1985). Based on the results of a controlled laboratory experiment, we find that both blame shifting and time urgency are important factors affecting an individual's willingness to report bad news. Blame shifting exerts both direct and indirect influence on willingness to report bad news, while time urgency was found only to exert an indirect influence on willingness to report bad news. The implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2006 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2006Aug 16 2006

Other

Other66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2006
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA
Period8/11/068/16/06

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Keywords

  • MUM effect
  • Software project management
  • Whistle blowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this

Park, C., Im, G. P., & Keil, M. (2006). Overcoming the MUM effect in it project reporting: The effect of time pressure and blame shifting. Paper presented at 66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2006, Atlanta, GA, United States.