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A logic of appropriateness: Role identities as a basis to individual decision making between exploitation and exploration

English title A logic of appropriateness: Role identities as a basis to individual decision making between exploitation and exploration
Applicant Brusoni Stefano
Number 156196
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Departement Management, Technologie und Ökonomie D-MTEC ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Science of management
Start/End 01.06.2015 - 30.11.2017
Approved amount 278'986.00
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Keywords (5)

Decision-making; Role identity; Exploitation / Exploration; Attention; Role transition

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Im Spannungsfeld zwischen inkrementellen (exploitativen) und radikalen (explorativen) Innovationen im organisationalen Rahmen wissen wir bislang wenig über die Motivation und Fähigkeit des Individuums begrenzte Aufmerksamkeit den einzelnen Aufgaben zuteilwerden zu lassen. Um die Art und den Erfolg von Innovationsvorhaben jedoch besser zu steuern ist dies ein wichtiger Aspekt neben den kontextuellen Faktoren, die die Organisation bereitstellt.
Lay summary

Inhalte und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

In einem organisationalen Rahmen, welcher durch Informationsüberfluss und hohe Unsicherheit auszeichnet ist, zeigen jüngste Studien, dass der Entscheidungserfolg zwischen inkrementellen und radikalen Innovationen direkt dadurch beeinflusst wird, wie Individuen ihre Aufmerksamkeit steuern. Das Identitätsverständnis ist ein Bezugsrahmen eines Individuums, Aufmerksamkeit zu steuern, um eine Auswahl von geeignete Informationen zu beurteilen und ihre Implementierung zuzuordnen. Hierbei sind Rollenidentitäten, Identitäten die ein Individuum über funktionale Rollen im Arbeitsumfeld bezieht von besonderer Bedeutung. Ziel dieses Forschungsprojektes ist es zu erklären, wie der Wechsel zwischen einzelnen Rollenidentitäten als Filter für die Informationsaufnahme fungiert und die Betätigung in inkrementellen und radikalen Innovationen beeinflusst.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Dieses Forschungsprojekt integriert Perspektiven der Identitätstheorie mit dem klassischen Innovationsmanagement. Hiermit leisten wir einen Beitrag zum holistischeren Verständnis des Innovationsmanagements und generieren wertvolle Ansätze für ein tiefergehendes Verständnis des Individuums hinsichtlich kognitiver und sozio-psychologischer Einflüsse auf organisationale Entscheidungsfindung.

 

Keywords

Role identity | Role transition | Attention | Decision-making | Exploitation / Exploration

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.03.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Cognitive Flexibility and Adaptive Decision-Making: Evidence from a laboratory study of expert decision-makers
Laureiro-Martinez Daniella, Brusoni Stefano, Cognitive Flexibility and Adaptive Decision-Making: Evidence from a laboratory study of expert decision-makers, in Strategic Management Journal.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
The Wharton School, UPenn - Prof. Lori Rosenkopf United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) - Prof. Michiel Tempelaar Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
MOC-TIM Conference Poster The four horsemen of the apocalypse 29.06.2017 Zurich, Switzerland Windisch Georg;
Seminar Individual talk Cognitive Flexibility and Adaptive Decision-Making: Evidence from a laboratory study of expert decision-makers 08.06.2017 Imperial College Business School, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Brusoni Stefano;
Seminar Individual talk Cognitive Flexibility and Adaptive Decision-Making: Evidence from a laboratory study of expert decision-makers 25.10.2016 Warwick Business School, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Brusoni Stefano;
Academy of Management Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference When boundary-spanners shift gears: Role transition and individual ambidexterity 08.08.2016 Anaheim, United States of America Hinrichs Nicole;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
173900 MOC-TIM Conference 01.06.2017 Scientific Conferences
152691 Time focus of startup founders 01.06.2014 Project funding

Abstract

Past studies provide evidence that individuals’ innovativeness (the degree to which they engage in exploitation vs. exploration) and decision-making performance is directly influenced by their ability to control their focus of attention (Laureiro et al., forthcoming; Laureiro, forthcoming; Laureiro, et al., 2014). Identity is one mechanism that allows individuals to allocate attention by using their identity as a frame of reference to evaluate the appropriate selection of information and their respective implementation (Brusoni & Rosenkranz, 2014). This line of work concentrates on role identities, an identity construct that ties to the functional roles an individual executes (for example, the role of an academic). In particular we concentrate on role transition as the mechanism by which individuals move between different role identities in order to allocate their attention situationally. Extant research corroborates that individuals differ in the degree to which they prefer to segment or integrate role domains (Ashforth et al., 2000), which has been shown to impact their information sharing and decision making process. Already Nicholson (1984) provided evidence that role transition allows individuals to balance stability and change. In analyzing how role transition impacts an individual’s attention allocation, we build on and complement research in this field, to extend our understanding of what guides individual decision making. Second, and related, is the discussion about individuals as a precursor to organizational level performance. Yet, we know next to nothing about how the emerging discussion about individual level mechanisms of attention control aggregate into organizational level behavior and related performance.The objective is to understand how different role transition styles impact individual attention allocation and how this in turn effects their active engagement in exploitative and exploratory activities. This research project is composed of one conceptual and two empirical papers, one quantitative and one qualitative study. The conceptual paper has already received a revise and resubmit with AMR and is currently under revision. The quantitative study is based on data collection efforts, which have been concluded in the Fall of 2013. Based on simulation data and complementary questionnaire responses, we test a multi-level longitudinal moderated-mediation model. The qualitative study will make use of the extensive expertise at the chair in qualitative research methods, particularly experiments and verbal protocol analysis (VPA). This research addresses three central gaps in present research. First, we add to the discussion on how individuals balance and engage in exploitation vs. exploration activities from an identity perspective as a frame of reference to attention allocation. Second, we introduce role transition as a decision-making mechanism to explain decision-making performance. Finally, we provide interesting insights to how individual action aggregates within the organizational context to drive firm-level outcomes. Beyond the importance for research, managers could greatly benefit from a better understanding on what drives their individual attention within the organizational context to raise awareness of the impact their attention focus has on their information selection process, decision making, and notably, the innovativeness and performance results they generate.Based on ongoing research at the department and the findings of this research project, we will write three academic papers (one conceptual and two empirical), and will design a teaching module to be implemented in one of our courses at the Department of Management Technology and Economics at ETH Zurich. This teaching module will target both master and post-experience students in innovation management.
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