Moving Beyond Optimism Bias and Strategic Misrepresentation: An Explanation for Social Infrastructure Project Cost Overruns
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Infrastructure projects regularly experience cost and schedule overruns. Research led by Flyvbjerg has suggested that misrepresentation and optimism bias are primary causes for overruns. While Flyvbjerg's research has made a significant contribution to ameliorating understanding as to why economic infrastructure projects experience overruns, it does not adequately explain why this is the case for such social infrastructure. In addressing this shortcoming, case studies are used to determine the intermediary events and actions that contributed to project cost overruns. The pathogens, events, and actions that contributed to overruns are identified and analyzed. The analysis of the cases' findings led to the propagation of a nomological framework for social infrastructure project overruns. Acknowledgment of the systemic pathogenic influences has enabled the establishment of an orthodoxy, which provides an impetus for addressing the issues needed to improve the performance of social infrastructure projects.
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