Cognition: Force of Strategy

Essay by wrichardUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, August 2006

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This writing intends to outline and discuss what may be understood by the concept of 'strategic cognition'. This will involve the attempt to research theoretically on answering the questions, including what is meant by 'cognition' and what is meant by 'strategic cognition'. And explain the cognitive school, which is the focal point of this writing, and hence receives the main attention. As a result, the remaining discussion will include the contributions in order to show how various strategists have dealt with strategic cognition. This includes further thoughts on phases in the interpretation process, the meaning of cognitive mapping, and heuristics and biases that potentially impact the strategic cognition process.


The topic of cognition draws heavily on the field of cognitive science, which in turn synthesizes ideas from philosophy, neuroscience, linguistics, psychology, sociology, artificial intelligence and anthropology (Laukkanen, 1994).Theories of cognition are concerned with how human beings analyze information obtained from the environment and the organization, how it is stored in memory, and how the stored memory can be used to acquire and interpret new information and direct behavior towards the attainment of goals (Grunert, 1994).

This brings understanding and explanation to why an individual, a group of people, or an organization behave the way they do, how they make sense of and interpret stimulus from their surroundings.

Strategic Cognition

Cognition is here related to issues, or situations calling for a decision, that are considered strategic in organizations. Strategic decisions and their decision processes are made to support and underpin the alignment of resources and environment of an organization that constantly deals with change (Daugaard, 2003). Such decision situations are characterized by novelty, complexity and open-endedness (Mintzberg et al., 1976). Dean & Sharfman (1993), in similar terms, contend that strategic decisions often have no precedent or guide and...