Measuring What You Know: An Individual Information Processing Perspective
42 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2010
Date Written: February 19, 2010
According to the information processing perspective, the organization’s ability to draw upon and utilize information helps resolve problems stemming from uncertainty. Although Tushman and Nadler (1979) noted decades earlier that the manner in which an organization structures and coordinates individuals’ efforts is critical in this regard, there has been relatively little evidence in the literature on the relationship between structure and the ability of individuals to process information. This research attempts to address this issue. We consider the effect of two types of structure, organic and mechanistic, on individuals’ gathering, interpretation and synthesis of information, and their problem solving orientation. Our evidence shows that individuals develop more information processing capability under organic than mechanistic structures, which in turn creates more problem solving orientation in individuals. A key finding is support for the mediation effect of information processing in the relationship between structure and problem solving.
Keywords: information processing, structure, problem solving
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