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Runaway Information Technology Projects: A Punctuated Equilibrium Analysis


  • M. Keith Wright

    (University of Houston, USA)

  • Charles J. Capps

    (Sam Houston State University, USA)


This paper presents an in-depth insider’s case study of a “runaway†information systems (IS) project in a U.S. State government agency. Because such projects are politically sensitive matters and often obscured from public view, details of how such projects operate are not well understood. This case study adds new details to the body of knowledge surrounding IS project escalation and de-escalation. The authors’ resulting project narrative details how this project went out of control for so long, raising important questions for future research in theory development for both IS project escalation and de-escalation. The paper argues that a punctuated equilibrium approach to analyzing “runaway†IS projects are a more fruitful area to explore than are “stage models.â€

Suggested Citation

  • M. Keith Wright & Charles J. Capps, 2010. "Runaway Information Technology Projects: A Punctuated Equilibrium Analysis," International Journal of Information Technology Project Management (IJITPM), IGI Global, vol. 1(4), pages 53-79, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jitpm0:v:1:y:2010:i:4:p:53-79

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