Advances in Organizational Attention Studies



One of the most promising and prodigious additions to the theoretical landscape of organization studies of the past two decades is the attention-based view of the firm (the basic outlines of the theory and the term itself being coined by Ocasio in 1997). The perspective combines and reconciles earlier insights from a variety of literatures, like the behavioral theory of the firm, organizational cognition and sensemaking, organizational design, and top management team behavior. Its main objectives are: (1) understanding how organizational structures and processes contribute to the distribution and focus of attention of organizational decision-makers, and (2) modeling how the spreading and priming of attention is related to organizational outcome variables like performance and change. Now that the theory is approaching adolescence, it is time to take stock and look ahead. The present symposium will explore several recent advances in organizational attention studies, and will explore exciting avenues for future attention research. It features a line-up of prominent speakers, all main contributors to the attention-based view of the firm:
  • Prof. dr. Claus Rerup, University of Western Ontario: “Attention coordination with comprehension delays: The Pearl Jam concert accident at Roskilde Festival.”
  • Prof. dr. Michael Barnett, University of Oxford: “ See no evil? Limits on stakeholder attention and the social control of business.”
  • Prof. dr. William Ocasio, Northwestern University: “Goal activation and Goal primacy in technology commercialization at Motorola:  A two-factor model of selective attention and organizational decision making.”
Contact information:
Pursey Heugens