Persuasion and Management Support for IT Projects


This study assesses the effectiveness of an IT project team's direct persuasion behaviors in obtaining management support. The literature typically suggests that obtaining management support is critical for IT project success. The literature also generally prescribes cognition-based approaches to obtaining such support, ignoring the potential effect of emotion on influencing management. We employ organizational influence theory to identify direct persuasion strategies and posit that both cognitive involvement and emotional involvement mediate the effectiveness of influence strategies on management support. Our argument was tested on a survey of non-MIS managers who recently undertook large IT projects. Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of two persuasion behaviors applied by the project team to obtain management support. Both persuasion behaviors encourage management support by increasing management's cognitive and emotional involvement in the project. We find that emotional involvement has a stronger effect than cognitive involvement on management support. Important implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Business and Information Technology

Keywords and Phrases

Cognitive involvement; Emotional involvement; IT project; Management support; Persuasion behavior

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0263-7863; 1873-4634

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2015 Elsevier Ltd and International Project Management Association, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2015