Managerial and Organizational Cognition: Notes from a Trip Down Memory Lane

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The study of cognition in organizations has burgeoned in recent years. Top-down information processing theory suggests that individuals create knowledge structures to help them process information and make decisions. While the benefits of employing such knowledge structures are widely noted, there is a growing concern that they can limit decision makers’ abilities to understand their information environments and thus, compromise their decision making. This issue has captured the imagination of managerial and organizational cognition researchers. To date, their inquiry has been eclectic in focus and method. To order and advance this work, the author reviews extant research on the developmental origins and decision consequences of both the content and structure of knowledge structures at multiple levels of analysis. A host of research challenges are identified to help develop a better understanding of knowledge structure representation, development, and use in organizations.

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