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Managerial reasoning about aspirations and expectations

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  • Lant, Theresa
  • Shapira, Zur
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    Abstract

    Managerial reasoning about performance targets and subsequent actions can be influenced by whether they focus their attention on expectations of future events or internal efforts to meet organizational goals. This study explores how managers think about expectations and aspirations by examining the semantic similarities and differences between these concepts for practicing managers and economists, the results suggesting subtle differences in how economists and managers reason about aspirations and expectations. For economists, the concept of expectations played a major role and influenced their subsequent thinking about goals and actions while managers conceptually separated factors that were controllable and uncontrollable, the concept of expectation not playing the central role for them. Implications for descriptive and prescriptive models of decision-making are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages: 60-73

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:66:y:2008:i:1:p:60-73

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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    1. Takatoshi Ito, 1988. "Foreign Exchange Rate Expectations: Micro Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 2679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1980. "Wage Expectations in the Labor Market: Survey Evidence on Rationality," NBER Working Papers 0440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. James G. March & Zur Shapira, 1987. "Managerial Perspectives on Risk and Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(11), pages 1404-1418, November.
    4. Levinthal, Daniel & March, James G., 1981. "A model of adaptive organizational search," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 307-333, December.
    5. Stephen J. Mezias & Ya-Ru Chen & Patrice R. Murphy, 2002. "Aspiration-Level Adaptation in an American Financial Services Organization: A Field Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(10), pages 1285-1300, October.
    6. Levine, David I, 1993. "Do Corporate Executives Have Rational Expectations?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(2), pages 271-93, April.
    7. Shmuel Sattath & Amos Tversky, 1977. "Additive similarity trees," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 319-345, September.
    8. Sarasvathy, D. K. & Simon, Herbert A. & Lave, Lester, 1998. "Perceiving and managing business risks: differences between entrepreneurs and bankers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 207-225, January.
    9. Theresa K. Lant, 1992. "Aspiration Level Adaptation: An Empirical Exploration," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(5), pages 623-644, May.
    10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1986. "Adaptive Behavior and Economic Theory," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S401-26, October.
    11. Jay B. Barney, 1986. "Strategic Factor Markets: Expectations, Luck, and Business Strategy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(10), pages 1231-1241, October.
    12. Gramlich, Edward M, 1983. "Models of Inflation Expectations Formation: A Comparison of Household and Economist Forecasts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(2), pages 155-73, May.
    13. James Corter & Amos Tversky, 1986. "Extended similarity trees," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 429-451, September.
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