Organizational Cognition: Computation and Interpretation

Organizational Cognition: Computation and Interpretation

Organizational Cognition: Computation and Interpretation

Organizational Cognition: Computation and Interpretation


Organizational Cognition is a collection of chapters written by scholars from around the world. The editors outline the history of two approaches to the study of cognition in organizations, the computational approach and the interpretive approach. The chapters represent some of the most cutting-edge research on organizational cognition, covering research that spans many levels of analysis. Much of the work in the book demonstrates how computational and interpretive approaches can be combined in a way that provides greater insight into cognitive processes in and among organizations. The editors conclude by elaborating the likely boundary conditions of each approach and how they can be combined for a more complete understanding of cognition in organizations.


We are editing the “LEA Series in Organization and Management” because we want to provide a home for promising scholarship that either opens up new avenues of inquiry or redirects contemporary research in some meaningful way. The work collected here by Theresa Lant and Zur Shapira meets our aspirations. The past 50 years have been witness to two revolutions. Land, labor, and capital are no longer the key factors of production that they once were. Knowledge is now the prime source of competitive advantage. In this light, it may come as no surprise to learn that 50 years ago, decisions supplanted hierarchy as the key unit of analysis for organization theory. The knowledge revolution in productive enterprises and the decision-making revolution in organization theory emerged hand-in-hand. Lant and Shapira take stock of the history of work on the cognitive aspects of decision making and discover that those working within the computational, information-processing paradigm have not yet come to terms with the work of those laboring within the interpretive meaning-making paradigm… and vice-versa. The collection of work in this volume is not an attempt to integrate the two perspectives per se, but rather an attempt to clarify the contributions and limits of each others point of view.

Lant and Shapira's hope is that the clarification we find in this book will facilitate a fruitful integration of these perspectives someday soon. We hope that his integration will in turn help organizations as they grapple with the implications of the knowledge revolution. We are very pleased to bring this book to you. Enjoy.



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