Understanding Organizational Advantage: How the Theory of Mind Adds to the Attention-Based View of the Firm

The authors contributed equally.

Cognition and Strategy

ISBN: 978-1-78441-946-2, eISBN: 978-1-78441-945-5

ISSN: 0742-3322

Publication date: 19 August 2015

Abstract

The attention-based view (ABV) of the firm highlights the role of decision makers’ attention in firm behavior. The ABV vastly improves our understanding of decision makers’ focus of attention; how that focus is situated in an organization’s procedural and communication channels; and how the distribution of the focus of attention among decision makers participating in those procedural and communication channels affects their understanding of a situation, their motivation to act, and, ultimately, their behavior. Significant progress has been made in recent years in refining and extending the ABV. However, the role of individual differences in the capacity to read other people’s desires, intentions, knowledge, and beliefs – that is, the theory of mind (ToM) – has remained on the sidelines. The ToM is a natural complement to the ABV. In this study, we explore how the ToM allows for an understanding of the advantage that organizations have over markets within the ABV.

Keywords

Citation

Stea, D., Linder, S. and Foss†, N.J. (2015), "Understanding Organizational Advantage: How the Theory of Mind Adds to the Attention-Based View of the Firm

The authors contributed equally.

", Cognition and Strategy (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 32), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 277-298. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0742-332220150000032009

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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