Attitude Change in Arbitrarily Large Organizations

FEUNL Working Paper Series No. 579

49 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2013

See all articles by Luis Almeida Costa

Luis Almeida Costa

Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Joao Amaro de Matos

Nova School of Business and Economics

Date Written: April 2013

Abstract

The alignment of collective goals and individual behavior has been extensively studied by economists under a principal-agent framework. Two main solutions have been presented: explicit incentive contracts and monitoring. These solutions correspond to changes in the objective situation faced by individuals. However, an extensive literature in social psychology provides evidence that behavior is influenced, not only by situational constraints, but also by attitudes. Therefore, an important aspect of organization is to choose the structures and procedures that best contribute to the dissemination of the desired attitudes throughout the organization. This paper studies how the initial configuration of attitudes and the size of the organization affect the optimal organizational structure and the timing of information ‡flows when the objective is to align the members' attitudes. We identify and characterize three factors that affect the optimal organizational structures and procedures and the degree of alignment of attitudes: (1) clustering effects; (2) member cross-influence effects; and (3) leader cross-influence effects.

Keywords: Organizational Structure, Timing of Information Flows, Attitude Change, Influence

Suggested Citation

Costa, Luis Almeida and Amaro de Matos, Joao, Attitude Change in Arbitrarily Large Organizations (April 2013). FEUNL Working Paper Series No. 579. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2361068 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2361068

Luis Almeida Costa

Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa ( email )

Lisbon
Portugal

Joao Amaro de Matos (Contact Author)

Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Campus de Campolide
Lisbon, 1099-038
Portugal

HOME PAGE: http://docentes.fe.unl.pt/~amatos

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