The role of cognitive load in effective strategic issue management

Tomi Laamanen, Markku Maula, Markus Juhani Kajanto, Peter Kunnas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Firms have different ways of addressing issues emerging from outside their regular calendar-driven strategy processes. These practices tend to be unstructured, organization specific, and highly dependent on the characteristics of the strategic issues themselves. Building on three dimensions of cognitive load—intrinsic, germane, and extraneous cognitive load—we extend existing research on strategic issue management by showing how different team-level choices in strategic issue processing and organizational congestion interact in their effects on a firm's strategic issue management performance. Based on an in-depth analysis of all 92 strategic issue decisions in a large multinational firm during a three-year period, we find that organizational disturbances influence strategic issue initiation by top management, which in turn influences the quality of strategic issue management practices and subsequent performance outcomes. We conclude by providing recommendations for managers on how they can decrease the sensitivity of their companies' strategic issue systems to external disturbances.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLong Range Planning
Volume51
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)625-639
Number of pages15
ISSN0024-6301
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 512 Business and Management

Cite this

Laamanen, Tomi ; Maula, Markku ; Kajanto, Markus Juhani ; Kunnas, Peter. / The role of cognitive load in effective strategic issue management. In: Long Range Planning. 2018 ; Vol. 51, No. 4. pp. 625-639.
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Laamanen, T, Maula, M, Kajanto, MJ & Kunnas, P 2018, 'The role of cognitive load in effective strategic issue management' Long Range Planning, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 625-639. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lrp.2017.03.001

The role of cognitive load in effective strategic issue management. / Laamanen, Tomi; Maula, Markku; Kajanto, Markus Juhani; Kunnas, Peter.

In: Long Range Planning, Vol. 51, No. 4, 2018, p. 625-639.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - Firms have different ways of addressing issues emerging from outside their regular calendar-driven strategy processes. These practices tend to be unstructured, organization specific, and highly dependent on the characteristics of the strategic issues themselves. Building on three dimensions of cognitive load—intrinsic, germane, and extraneous cognitive load—we extend existing research on strategic issue management by showing how different team-level choices in strategic issue processing and organizational congestion interact in their effects on a firm's strategic issue management performance. Based on an in-depth analysis of all 92 strategic issue decisions in a large multinational firm during a three-year period, we find that organizational disturbances influence strategic issue initiation by top management, which in turn influences the quality of strategic issue management practices and subsequent performance outcomes. We conclude by providing recommendations for managers on how they can decrease the sensitivity of their companies' strategic issue systems to external disturbances.

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