Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1403491
 
 

References (70)



 
 

Citations (1)



 


 



Enhancing Analogical Reasoning and Performance in Strategic Decision Making


Michael Shayne Gary


Australian School of Business

Tracey Pillinger


UNSW Business School

Robert E. Wood


Australian School of Business

May 12, 2009

MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4737-09

Abstract:     
Strategy scholars have recently started theorizing about the impact of and the extent to which managers reason by analogies drawn either from their own past experience or from vicarious knowledge about seemingly similar situations. We report results from an experimental study investigating the mechanisms that impact analogical transfer from one managerial decision problem to another similar situation. Our results show successful analogical transfer on a common real world managerial challenge using two isomorphic management simulations. The two management simulations have exactly the same underlying deep structure of causal relationships but have very different surface features. We show that decision makers exposed to variation in the initial source problem achieve higher transfer performance. This variation impedes performance in the short term because decision makers are forced to explore new parts of the problem space. However, additional exploration ultimately leads to greater knowledge of the source problem and higher transfer performance. Our results also show that adopting a systematic search strategy of the problem space also improves transfer performance. By identifying specific mechanisms that enhance analogical transfer across management situations sharing a common deep structure, our study contributes to and bridges research on the cognitive aspects of strategy and research in psychology examining analogical reasoning, category-based induction, and pattern recognition.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

Keywords: analogy, cognition, strategic decision making, experiment

working papers series


Download This Paper

Date posted: May 18, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Gary, Michael Shayne and Pillinger, Tracey and Wood, Robert E., Enhancing Analogical Reasoning and Performance in Strategic Decision Making (May 12, 2009). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4737-09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1403491 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1403491

Contact Information

Michael Shayne Gary (Contact Author)
Australian School of Business ( email )
Strategy & Entrepreneurship
University of New South Wales
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
Tracey Pillinger
UNSW Business School ( email )
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
Robert E. Wood
Australian School of Business ( email )
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 5,336
Downloads: 262
Download Rank: 66,862
References:  70
Citations:  1

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.265 seconds