Conflict inside and outside: Social comparisons and attention shifts in multidivisional firms

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Behavioral Theory highlights the crucial role of social comparisons in attention allocation in adaptive aspirations. Yet, both the specification of social reference points and the dynamics of attention allocation have received little scholarly examination. We address performance feedback from two social reference points relative to divisions in multidivisional firms: economic reference point and political reference point. Comparing divisional performance with the two reference points can give consistent or inconsistent feedback, which has important consequences for the dynamics of attention allocation in adaptive aspirations. We find consistent feedback leads to more attention to own experience while inconsistent feedback results in more attention to the social reference point the focal division underperforms. Results reveal that political reference point plays an important role in determining managerial attention allocation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1435-1454
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Volume38
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Fingerprint

Reference point
Social comparison
Aspiration
Economics
Behavioral theory
Performance feedback

Keywords

  • adaptive aspirations
  • social comparison
  • political coalition
  • attention allocation
  • multidivisional firms

Cite this

@article{d7a3dd0965c34e889359a3bb8015fef0,
title = "Conflict inside and outside: Social comparisons and attention shifts in multidivisional firms",
abstract = "Behavioral Theory highlights the crucial role of social comparisons in attention allocation in adaptive aspirations. Yet, both the specification of social reference points and the dynamics of attention allocation have received little scholarly examination. We address performance feedback from two social reference points relative to divisions in multidivisional firms: economic reference point and political reference point. Comparing divisional performance with the two reference points can give consistent or inconsistent feedback, which has important consequences for the dynamics of attention allocation in adaptive aspirations. We find consistent feedback leads to more attention to own experience while inconsistent feedback results in more attention to the social reference point the focal division underperforms. Results reveal that political reference point plays an important role in determining managerial attention allocation.",
keywords = "adaptive aspirations, social comparison, political coalition, attention allocation, multidivisional firms",
author = "S. Hu and He, {Z. L.} and D.P. Blettner and R. Bettis",
year = "2017",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1002/smj.2556",
language = "English",
volume = "38",
pages = "1435--1454",
journal = "Strategic Management Journal",
issn = "0143-2095",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "7",

}

Conflict inside and outside: Social comparisons and attention shifts in multidivisional firms. / Hu, S.; He, Z. L.; Blettner, D.P.; Bettis, R.

In: Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 38, No. 7, 07.2017, p. 1435-1454.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Conflict inside and outside: Social comparisons and attention shifts in multidivisional firms

AU - Hu, S.

AU - He, Z. L.

AU - Blettner, D.P.

AU - Bettis, R.

PY - 2017/7

Y1 - 2017/7

N2 - Behavioral Theory highlights the crucial role of social comparisons in attention allocation in adaptive aspirations. Yet, both the specification of social reference points and the dynamics of attention allocation have received little scholarly examination. We address performance feedback from two social reference points relative to divisions in multidivisional firms: economic reference point and political reference point. Comparing divisional performance with the two reference points can give consistent or inconsistent feedback, which has important consequences for the dynamics of attention allocation in adaptive aspirations. We find consistent feedback leads to more attention to own experience while inconsistent feedback results in more attention to the social reference point the focal division underperforms. Results reveal that political reference point plays an important role in determining managerial attention allocation.

AB - Behavioral Theory highlights the crucial role of social comparisons in attention allocation in adaptive aspirations. Yet, both the specification of social reference points and the dynamics of attention allocation have received little scholarly examination. We address performance feedback from two social reference points relative to divisions in multidivisional firms: economic reference point and political reference point. Comparing divisional performance with the two reference points can give consistent or inconsistent feedback, which has important consequences for the dynamics of attention allocation in adaptive aspirations. We find consistent feedback leads to more attention to own experience while inconsistent feedback results in more attention to the social reference point the focal division underperforms. Results reveal that political reference point plays an important role in determining managerial attention allocation.

KW - adaptive aspirations

KW - social comparison

KW - political coalition

KW - attention allocation

KW - multidivisional firms

U2 - 10.1002/smj.2556

DO - 10.1002/smj.2556

M3 - Article

VL - 38

SP - 1435

EP - 1454

JO - Strategic Management Journal

JF - Strategic Management Journal

SN - 0143-2095

IS - 7

ER -