Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Cognitive flexibility: The adaptive reality of concrete organization change
by Furr, Nathan R., Ph.D., Stanford University, 2009, 201; 3382938
Abstract (Summary)

The question of why some organizations change when others do not is of central interest to the organization change literature. While large-scale, empirical studies have emphasized organization demographic characteristics such as size, age and resources, a recent body of case-based literature has begun to emphasize the role of cognition in determining whether organizations change. In particular, the literature suggests that organizations characterized by cognitive flexibility are more likely to change than those characterized by cognitive rigidity. This study investigates the impact of three core constructs that contribute to cognitive flexibility—variety, novelty, and framing—on when organizations change their technology. I examine the impact of these three constructs at both the team and organization level on the likelihood of three degrees of technical change: major, moderate, and minor. I find that all three constructs: variety, novelty, and framing contribute to technology change. Furthermore, I find that the greater the scale of change, the greater the impact of cognitive flexibility on change. Finally, I investigate the link between change and performance, and find that, in fact, large changes actually improve performance more than small changes but only after an initial adjustment delay.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Eisenhardt, Kathleen M.
School: Stanford University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Entrepreneurship, Management
Keywords: Clean technology, Cognitive flexibility, Dynamic capability, Entrepreneurship, Organization change, Resource adaptation, Strategy, Technology management
Publication Number: 3382938
ISBN: 978-1-109-45015-6
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