Session 211

Cognition, Discourse and Innovation Dynamics within and across Organizations

Track H

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Time: 11:00 – 12:15


Room: Governor's Square 14

Session Co-Chairs:

  • Steven Floyd, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Steven Floyd, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Title: A Bit of Doubt, a Lot of Respect: Sensemaking and Strategy Formulation in Early Start-ups


  • Violina Rindova, University of Texas at Austin
  • Christina Kyprianou, Clemson University
  • Luis Martins, University of Texas-Austin

Abstract: This inductive theory-building study examines how early-stage start-ups develop strategy when uncertainty exists about all relevant aspects of the new venture. We build on and extend Weick’s (1993) ideas about the cognitive and social factors that facilitate the dynamic reconstruction of meanings and structures under conditions of extreme uncertainty. Using real-time observations of strategy meetings in three early-stage technology start-ups, we induce theory about the role of sensemaking, and in particular, an ‘attitude of wisdom’ and ‘respectful interaction’ (Weick, 1993) in entrepreneurs’ identification, evaluation, and choice of strategic paths forward in their new ventures.

Title: Inter-Organizational Multilevel Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Lessons Learned from a Natural Experiment at the Laboratory of Analytic Sciences


  • Beverly Tyler, North Carolina State University
  • Kathleen Vogel, North Carolina State University
  • Brian Evans, RTI International
  • Sharon Joines, North Carolina State University
  • Jessica Jameson, North Carolina State University
  • Deborah Littlejohn, North Carolina State University
  • Hector Rendon, North Carolina State University

Abstract: The challenges of breakthrough innovation today often require the commitments of researchers from a variety of disciplines in diverse organizations, in order to access the technical knowledge and expertise required. As organizational boundaries morph and inter-organizational relationships become the norm, strategic management research can contribute to the success of these multilevel, inter-organizational, interdisciplinary research projects. In this study a team of interdisciplinary researchers assess a natural experiment between a university, a government agency and industry in order to learn how diverse organizations can better organize large multidisciplinary collaborations to transcend institutional and interdisciplinary boundaries, enhance innovative output, and optimize learning. Drawing from the management, team science, and communications literature, hypotheses are developed and data assessed using observations, document analysis, interviews, and a survey.

Title: The Discursive Construction of Innovativeness: A Strategy Process and Practice Perspective


  • Matthias Wenzel, European University Viadrina Frankfurt
  • Jochen Koch, European University Viadrina Frankfurt

Abstract: While strategy process research has illuminated the “front end” of strategy formulation and implementation in the strategy process, it has dedicated far less attention to the “back end” of communicating strategic change to the market. Drawing on strategy-as-practice research, we explore how firms discursively construct the innovativeness of new products as the central outcome of strategic change. In a longitudinal case study of Apple’s communication in the music market, we identify three bundles of discursive practices—leveling, linking, and leaping—that construct the innovativeness of new products as a form of “elastic communication” between familiarity and novelty. Furthermore, our findings indicate that these episodes of discursive practices appear repeatedly and constitute a continuous process of discursive construction of innovativeness.

Title: Uncovering The Role Of Cognitive Motivation For Strategic Flexibility Development


  • Emmanuelle Reuter, University of St. Gallen
  • Steven Floyd, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract: Prior research points to firms’ strategic flexibility as the ability to adapt quickly to environment changes, and particularly to CEOs’ roles in either enhancing or inhibiting firms’ strategic flexibility. This paper develops theory on how CEOs learn to become more flexible over time, and on the specific roles of the organizational context in this process. Drawing from motivated reasoning insights, this paper outlines four cognitive motivational states, as well as the influence of the organizational context in order to explain when and how decision-makers learn to develop greater strategic flexibility through repeated engagement in reflective reasoning over time. Contributions are made to research concerned with upper echelons and adaptive managerial cognition.

All Sessions in Track H...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 22: On Boxes, Arrows and Multiple Case Studies
Sun: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 23: Simple Rules and Other Seminal Contributions
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 24: Tribute to Kathleen Eisenhardt
Sun: 16:15 – 17:30
Session 113: Serial Acquisitions: Strategies and Processes
Session 154: Processes of Capability Development, Rejuvenation and Erosion and their Interplay with Strategy
Sun: 17:45 – 00:00
Session 316: Strategy Process Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 162: Strategy Formation Processes
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 210: M&A/JV Implementation
Mon: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 169: The Role of Attention in Organizational Processes (Evaluation, Promotion, Innovation and Growth)
Mon: 16:45 – 18:00
Session 134: Leading change implementation processes
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 135: Micro-processes for developing dynamic capabilities
Session 212: Initiative Generation, Opportunity Sensing, Decision and Change Processes: The Role of Context and Cognition
Session 255: Processes for Innovation and Ideation
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 211: Cognition, Discourse and Innovation Dynamics within and across Organizations
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 275: External Interface Processes and their Consequences
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 165: Strategic Change: The Role of Cognition and Affect/Emotions

Strategic Management Society