This study derives an improved model of managers' decision-making behavior regarding possibly failing projects. Instead of adopting cognitive moral development used by Rutledge and Karim (Accounting, Organization and Society 24, 173–184, 1999) this investigation uses the agency theory framework to consider individual moral philosophy for the improvement of decisions regarding possibly failing projects. This research hypothesizes that a manager with low relativism has a stronger tendency to discontinue a possibly failing project than one with high relativism when agency problem are present or absent. Also, this study suggests that a manager with high idealism has a stronger tendency to discontinue a possibly failing project than one with low idealism. Through experiments this work finds that agency problem is a significant factor on decisions regarding possibly failing projects in all circumstances. This result is consistent with prior literature and shows agency problem universality. Next, the empirical evidence supports the hypothesis that a project manager with low relativism tends to discontinue a possibly failing project more than one with high relativism, showing that individual moral philosophy can partially mitigate the phenomenon of escalating managers' commitment.