Thinking about Cognition: Volume 5

Cover of Thinking about Cognition
Subject:

Table of contents

(9 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xi
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Abstract

In this chapter, the authors reflect on their experience of editing the first five volumes of the book series New Horizons in Managerial and Organizational Cognition. The authors summarize some of the contributions of articles published in the series, including those comprising this fifth volume. From its beginnings as a follow-up publication of the second Frontiers in Managerial and Organizational Cognition (MOC) conference, the series has moved in several directions exploring how the field is developing, and what new applications of MOC theories and methods are being explored. The authors identify and highlight several lines of investigation in particular: work that furthers their understanding of schema and cognitive mapping, work on framing, work on identity, work on heuristics and intuition, work on emotions, and modern methodological advances, enabled by IT and other technologies.

Abstract

Routines are the very material of human organization. But there is little guarantee that routines will be enacted flexibly enough to ensure that organization survives. Mindfulness has been offered as a guarantor of sorts, but it remains unclear exactly what people mean by mindfulness and how mindfulness might relate to routines. This chapter reviews evolving conceptions of mindfulness and routines—from Langer’s early work to routine dynamics to Levinthal and Rerup’s seminal debate with Weick and Sutcliffe. It puts forth the argument that the recent theory of mindfulness as metacognitive practice retains important insights from throughout this conceptual evolution, while resolving ambiguity and debate about the relation between mindfulness and routines in at least four critical areas related to agency, duality, flexibility, and social organization. This resolution, in turn, opens up further avenues to understand the social processes by which people come to understand their minds—and how this understanding embeds within organization itself.

Abstract

This chapter introduces electroencephalography (EEG), a measure of neurophysiological activity, as a critical method for investigating individual and team decision-making and cognition. EEG is a useful tool for expanding the theoretical and research horizons in organizational cognitive neuroscience, with a lower financial cost and higher portability than other neuroimaging methods (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging). This chapter briefly reviews past work that has applied cognitive neuroscience methods to investigate cognitive processes and outcomes. The focus is on describing contemporary EEG measures that reflect individual cognition and compare them to complementary measures in the field of psychology and management. The authors discuss how neurobiological measures of cognition relate to and may predict both individual cognitive performance and team cognitive performance (decision-making). This chapter aims to assist scholars in the field of managerial and organizational cognition in understanding the complementarity between psychological and neurophysiological methods, and how they may be combined to develop new hypotheses in the intersection of these research fields.

Abstract

We argue for a new microfoundational approach to organizational identity to replace common vertical theory-borrowing from individual identity theory. Organizational identity becomes either an individualistic account of member representations of the group identity held together by other-regarding cognitive structures or a group-level account where jointly understood identity is tied to joint goals and agency as we-intentionality. Organizational identity is linked to collective action through intentionality. For large organizations, jointly held identity is crucial to guide individual action on behalf of the collective. This approach also internalizes shared identity within the organization as a collectively constructed cognitive representation rather than just an externally oriented social evaluation of membership in a category. In support of this approach, the authors examine a case study of individual wineries’ expectations and perceptions of the collective identity of their jointly constructed wine trail and how these evaluations affect commitment to membership and collective action.

Abstract

This chapter explores collective imageries of the distant future and unpacks how fuzzy frames that anticipate things-to-come lead to variations in “technological solutions” envisioned for the distant future. It suggests that these frames are characterized by the struggle over the construction of different future plots and the proselytization of divergent pathways to the future. Such frames are a product of collective anticipation, which refers to a set of ideas, imageries and beliefs about the future that can be located in the form of structures of knowledge, such as cultural artifacts, scientific products and political frames that shape the thinking of the collective. This chapter posits that the “fuzziness” of our frames anticipating the distant future could be reduced through a selective process where alternatives of the future are winnowed out by processes of selection and exclusion based on faith, values and evidence.

Abstract

This chapter describes and discusses how the notion of network pictures would contribute to the literature on management cognition. Network pictures, as conceptualized in business-to-business marketing, refer to managers’ sensemaking of the context and put focus on the interconnectivity among firms, along with managers’ subjective idea about what parties would be relevant for the firm. A systematic literature review on network pictures shows that network picture research focuses on how managers may have difficulties comprehending parties beyond present business partners, while the theoretical conceptualization emphasizes interdependences and prioritization and reprioritization among relevant parts of the limitless network. These latter ideas add to current research on managerial cognition. They do so through introducing a different notion of the context – or environment – and thereby raising the awareness of its complexity. Albeit the network picture literature focuses on how managers’ network pictures affect their strategizing in the network, the core idea entails how reactions and partners strategizing in parallel describe an ever-changing context but not the less important for any manager to comprehend.

Abstract

In the managerial and organizational cognition (MOC) literature, cognition is often studied by considering the observable characteristics of decision-makers. However, these studies have largely neglected cognitive differences stemming from the cultural, national, ethnical, and geographical (CNEG) characteristics of decision-makers – ones that are commonly studied in the field of international business (IB) research. Despite the contributions of IB research within the domain, the advancements have not found their way to the broader literature on MOC. In order to remedy this deficiency, this chapter seeks to introduce the work conducted within the IB field on the cognitive differences and the resultant cognitive distance stemming from decision-makers’ CNEG characteristics. This work has generated original insights on: (1) cognitive distances; (2) cognitive structures; (3) the legacy of the home country; and (4) tolerance to cognitive differences. As a result, this chapter strengthens the foundations for cumulative knowledge building by providing an integrative understanding of cognitive research based on the characteristics of managers.

Abstract

Although the organizational identity (OI) construct (Albert & Whetten, 1985) is now in its fourth decade, research in the field has been somewhat uneven, particularly with respect to an essentialist view and hypothetico-deductive type of studies. Believing that this stems in large part from insufficient construct clarity (Suddaby, 2010), this theory-development initiative presents an expanded conceptual framework. The authors exploit several key elements of individual identity and make the case for using these as the basis for conceptualizing an organizational-level equivalent. Starting with the premise that an individual’s identity is the product of comparisons, two dimensions are identified: the type of comparison (similarity, difference), referred to as the “identity conundrum,” and the object of comparison (self–other, self–self), referred to as the “identity perspective.” The authors then propose a four-cell distinctive conceptual domain for OI and explore its implications for scholarship.

Cover of Thinking about Cognition
DOI
10.1108/S2397-5210202105
Publication date
2021-11-22
Book series
New Horizons in Managerial and Organizational Cognition
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-80117-825-9
eISBN
978-1-80117-824-2
Book series ISSN
2397-5210