Adaptive aspirations and performance heterogeneity: Attention allocation among multiple reference points

D.P. Blettner, Z. L. He, S. Hu, R. Bettis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Organizations learn and adapt their aspiration levels based on reference points (prior aspiration, prior performance, and prior performance of reference groups). The relative attention that organizations allocate to these reference points impacts organizational search and strategic decisions. However, very little research has explored this. Therefore, we build a recursive feedback model of learning from organizational experience that explains heterogeneity of attention allocation to the reference points in adaptive aspirations. In a sample of the German magazine industry (1972–2010), we find when early in their life cycle and as they or their parent company age, organizations tend to focus more on their own aspirations; however, when at the verge of bankruptcy, they increase their attention to competitors' performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-1005
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Volume36
Issue number7
Early online date28 Apr 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Fingerprint

Aspiration
Reference point
Industry
Competitors
Strategic decisions
Bankruptcy
Life cycle
Aspiration Level
Parent company
Organizational search
Reference groups

Keywords

  • aspiration adaption
  • attention allocation
  • experience
  • feedback loops
  • learning

Cite this

@article{5bda47648f594872b9d5579472c7b309,
title = "Adaptive aspirations and performance heterogeneity: Attention allocation among multiple reference points",
abstract = "Organizations learn and adapt their aspiration levels based on reference points (prior aspiration, prior performance, and prior performance of reference groups). The relative attention that organizations allocate to these reference points impacts organizational search and strategic decisions. However, very little research has explored this. Therefore, we build a recursive feedback model of learning from organizational experience that explains heterogeneity of attention allocation to the reference points in adaptive aspirations. In a sample of the German magazine industry (1972–2010), we find when early in their life cycle and as they or their parent company age, organizations tend to focus more on their own aspirations; however, when at the verge of bankruptcy, they increase their attention to competitors' performance.",
keywords = "aspiration adaption, attention allocation, experience, feedback loops, learning",
author = "D.P. Blettner and He, {Z. L.} and S. Hu and R. Bettis",
year = "2015",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1002/smj.2260",
language = "English",
volume = "36",
pages = "987--1005",
journal = "Strategic Management Journal",
issn = "0143-2095",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "7",

}

Adaptive aspirations and performance heterogeneity : Attention allocation among multiple reference points. / Blettner, D.P.; He, Z. L.; Hu, S.; Bettis, R.

In: Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 36, No. 7, 07.2015, p. 987-1005.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Adaptive aspirations and performance heterogeneity

T2 - Attention allocation among multiple reference points

AU - Blettner, D.P.

AU - He, Z. L.

AU - Hu, S.

AU - Bettis, R.

PY - 2015/7

Y1 - 2015/7

N2 - Organizations learn and adapt their aspiration levels based on reference points (prior aspiration, prior performance, and prior performance of reference groups). The relative attention that organizations allocate to these reference points impacts organizational search and strategic decisions. However, very little research has explored this. Therefore, we build a recursive feedback model of learning from organizational experience that explains heterogeneity of attention allocation to the reference points in adaptive aspirations. In a sample of the German magazine industry (1972–2010), we find when early in their life cycle and as they or their parent company age, organizations tend to focus more on their own aspirations; however, when at the verge of bankruptcy, they increase their attention to competitors' performance.

AB - Organizations learn and adapt their aspiration levels based on reference points (prior aspiration, prior performance, and prior performance of reference groups). The relative attention that organizations allocate to these reference points impacts organizational search and strategic decisions. However, very little research has explored this. Therefore, we build a recursive feedback model of learning from organizational experience that explains heterogeneity of attention allocation to the reference points in adaptive aspirations. In a sample of the German magazine industry (1972–2010), we find when early in their life cycle and as they or their parent company age, organizations tend to focus more on their own aspirations; however, when at the verge of bankruptcy, they increase their attention to competitors' performance.

KW - aspiration adaption

KW - attention allocation

KW - experience

KW - feedback loops

KW - learning

U2 - 10.1002/smj.2260

DO - 10.1002/smj.2260

M3 - Article

VL - 36

SP - 987

EP - 1005

JO - Strategic Management Journal

JF - Strategic Management Journal

SN - 0143-2095

IS - 7

ER -