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Escalation in Decision-MakingThe Tragedy of Taurus$
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Helga Drummond

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198289531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289531.001.0001

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A Second Opportunity Lost

A Second Opportunity Lost

Chapter:
(p.118) 10 A Second Opportunity Lost
Source:
Escalation in Decision-Making
Author(s):

Helga Drummond

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198289531.003.0010

This chapter analyses events leading up to the decision made by the board of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the autumn of 1991 to allocate further funding to Project Taurus. This decision is especially interesting because in retrospect, some people close to the project felt that it should have been stopped. This chapter examines why the decision-makers persisted and whether such persistence was a rational response to circumstances. According to the decision dilemma theory, withdrawal is logical when it becomes clear that decision-makers' expectations will not be met. The project was not stopped in 1991 despite considerable negative feedback. Once it becomes clear that expectations will not be met, persistence is dictated by psychological and social pressures coming into play sequentially. The root of escalation in decision-making, escalation as the observance of due diligence, and the actions of other players, including the market and the Taurus monitoring group, are considered.

Keywords:   Project Taurus, London Stock Exchange, funding, persistence, decision-making, decision dilemma theory, withdrawal, escalation, monitoring group, due diligence

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