Session 95

Emotions and Behavior

Track H

Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Time: 11:00 – 12:15


Room: Club A

Session Chair:

  • Rebekka Skubinn, Leibniz University of Hannover

Title: A Behavioral Model of Strategic Retention Decisions: Archival and Experimental Evidence


  • Franz Wohlgezogen, Northwestern University
  • Ithai Stern, INSEAD
  • Adam Galinsky, Northwestern University

Abstract: Using both archival and experimental data we examine key behavioral mechanisms that influence retention decisions, i.e. decisions to continue or abandon a previously chosen course of action. Focusing on the effects of external feedback, we integrate macro and micro literatures to theorize a non-linear, sinusoidal relationship between feedback and decision makers’ retention decisions. Specifically, we suggest that moderately negative feedback activates an ‘immune response’ in organizations, which leads decision makers to retain a course of action and exert extra effort to ensure its success. Strongly negative or moderately positive feedback, we argue, do not cause such an activating effect and thus lead to a lower likelihood of retention. Using firms’ retention decisions for R&D joint ventures as an empirical setting, we test and receive support for our hypotheses. We discuss implications of our findings for the literatures on decision-making feedback, divestment, and alliance management.

Title: Harmonizing Habits and Self-Determination: When Personalsim meets Dynamic Capabilities


  • Carlo Salvato, Bocconi University
  • Roberto Vassolo, Austral University

Abstract: Research on capabilities dynamization has come to two antagonistic positions. The first one understands dynamic capabilities as higher-order collective routines, premised on a central role of individual habits. It is criticized by those scholars who see semi-automatic routines as insufficient to engender the radical regeneration in organizational capabilities (e.g.,Schreyögg & Kliesch-Eberl, 2007). The second one understands capabilities dynamization as the outcome of tailored and logically-structured solutions. This position is criticized for doing away with the proven routine-based selection patterns and operating rules that allow organizations to handle environmental developments (e.g., Helfat et al., 2007). We claim that this conundrum results from somehow incomplete “models of humans” espoused by each position. We propose a new model, based on Personalism and describe the basic elements of capabilities dynamization premised on this alternative “model of humans.”

Title: Mitigating Inertia Towards Megatrends: An Experimental Investigation of Emotional Activation


  • Christine Scheef, University of St. Gallen
  • Tobias Schlager, University of St. Gallen

Abstract: The paper explores the executives' decision-making process when facing megatrends. Thereby, we argue that executives’ are particularly prone to inertia and delayed strategic responses when confronted with megatrends. Drawing on psychology literature, we propose emotions as pivotal triggers to determine the multitude of alternatives considered and to mitigate inertia in decision-making. Further, we suggest executives’ personal involvement and experience to moderate this relationship. The study makes two important contributions. First, by providing first insights on the impact of megatrends on the decision-making process, we answer calls of scholars and practitioners. Second, our study advances cognition and emotion literature by the concept of time-coupled emotions, which benefits our understanding of executives’ behavior during the decision-making process.

Title: Too Dear to be Too Clear: The Role of Emotional Attachment and Reappraisal in Evaluating Novel Ideas


  • Magdalena Cholakova, Erasmus University-Rotterdam

Abstract: The present paper focuses on the microfoundations of strategic decision making in novel and uncertain contexts and explores the potential interplay of cognitive and affective factors in facilitating one’s ability to theorize and evaluate novel ideas. The proposed study outlines the role of emotional attachment and psychological ownership in facilitating one’s ability to engage in mental simulations, and explores the impact of these factors on the decision makers’ ability to structure their problem space and make effective judgments. It predicts that emotional attachment to a project will have a curvilinear effect on the structural complexity of one’s problem representation, whereby low attachment will lead to effective and high attachment to ineffective judgments. This is expected to be moderated by the decision makers’ emotion regulation strategy.

All Sessions in Track H...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 267: Strategic Processes in Transition
Sun: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 268: Capabilities that Help or Hurt Acquisition Processes
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 269: Chief Strategy Officer’s Role in Strategy Processes
Sun: 15:15 – 16:30
Session 89: Strategic Alignment and Strategy Implementation
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 99: Ambidexterity and Innovativeness
Mon: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 91: Consensus and Commitment
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 92: Attention, Goals and Renewal
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 90: Participation, Cooperation and Commitment
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 94: Going Beyond the Conventional Wisdom
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 95: Emotions and Behavior
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 96: Comprehensiveness and Time
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 98: Management of Emerging Strategic Issues
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 93: Cognition and Intuition
Session 97: Cognition and Capabilities

Strategic Management Society