Mistaken Perceptions: Cases and Consequences

6 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2003

See all articles by Sidney G. Winter

Sidney G. Winter

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department


Mezias and Starbuck (2003) review previous work and report striking new evidence indicating that managers can be quite mistaken in their perceptions regarding some matters, even matters quite close to their jobs. This is reminiscent of much evidence on politicians and ordinary citizens that generally show a weak grip on basic facts. In assessing how much difference this weakness makes, it is useful to distinguish among four perspectives on managers as: (i) informants for academic research; (ii) performers of their normal work; (iii) problem-solvers in novel situations; (iv) strategic thinkers. Mezias and Starbuck's results suggest a negative assessment on (i) and (iii), but are less clearly relevant on (ii); some open questions regarding (iv) are put forward.

Suggested Citation

Winter, Sidney G., Mistaken Perceptions: Cases and Consequences. British Journal of Management, Vol. 14, pp. 39-44, March 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=410949

Sidney G. Winter (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States

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