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Title: Cognition in comparative and strategic management research

Authors: Jurgen Poesche

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University, P.O. Box 15500, 00076 Aalto, Finland

Abstract: The objective of this paper is to synthesise a view of cognition in the context of comparative and strategic management research. In this paper, the view that there is a firm-specific cognition is rejected. Cognition is seen as a product of the culture of society. Firms may have a resemblance of cognition, but this is the result of opportunistic behaviour by and selection of employees. This resemblance of cognition is potentially destructive for a firm because of reduced cognitive pluralism. In the face of crisis and failure, the detrimental effects of reduced cognitive pluralism are exacerbated by an escalation of commitment, and an implicit sameness or separateness assumption. The problems associated with this have been manageable because of the occidental enjoyed economic, legal and technological global dominance. In an increasingly pluralistic world, research into comparative and strategic management needs to pay attention to cognitive diversity. The strengthening of non-occidental societies – among them China, India, Indigenous American nations and in Sub-Saharan Africa – complicates cognition-related research into comparative and strategic management.

Keywords: cognition; cognitive concordance; culture; opportunistic behaviour; pluralism; strategy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCM.2019.10027571

International Journal of Comparative Management, 2019 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.229 - 246

Received: 14 Feb 2019
Accepted: 29 Jun 2019

Published online: 23 Mar 2020 *

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