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Cognition and Motivation in the Theory of the Firm: Interaction or "Never the Twain Shall Meet"?

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  • Foss Nicolai J.

    (Copenhagen Business School)

Abstract

Economics in general, and the theory of the firm more specifically, places motivation and cognition in very different analytical boxes, in spite of cognitive science evidence that the boundaries between the two are in reality blurred. While this analytical assumption has often served the theory of the firm well, a number of organizational phenomena are better understood if cognition and motivation are allowed to interact, for example, through framing effects, as organizational scholars have long argued. The paper exemplifies by developing the implications of this for Williamson’s notion of the “impossibility of selective intervention.”théorie de la firme en particulier placent la motivation et la connaissance dans des boites analytiques très différentes, en dépit de preuves scientifiques affirmant que les deux se confondent dans la réalité. Même si cette hypothèse analytique a souvent été utile dans la théorie de la firme, certains phénomènes organisationnels sont mieux compris si on permet à la connaissance et à la motivation de réagir réciproquement, par exemple à travers des effets d’“encadrement ” comme les théoriciens des organisations le soutiennent depuis longtemps. Ce papier illustre cette interaction en développant les implications de l’effet d’encadrement pour la notion d’“impossibilité d’intervention sélective” de Williamson.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

Volume (Year): 14 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-24

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:14:y:2004:i:1:n:4

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