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Walking between decision models: analogising in strategic decision making
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
2008 (English)In: Qualitative research in organization and management, ISSN 1746-5648, E-ISSN 1746-5656, Vol. 3, no 2, 104-126 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - To explore the characteristics of situations where managers analogise, and when they change to a different decision model; examine how the analogies are evoked, what characteristics they have and how they are used, and add to the understanding through taking a qualitative approach.Design/methodology/approach - This is an illustrative case study of a new market entry attempt by a medium-sized manufacturing firm based on interviews and analytical dialogues with management team members.Findings - Decision-makers analogise when cause/effect-relationships are unclear, and change decision models when the analogy has helped to formulate a theory of the nature of the problem or a recipe for handling the situation. They evoke analogies by automatic recognition, using internal and external sources, for transfer within and between domains. The use of analogy occurs in problem-setting, problem-solving, action and sensemaking modes.Research limitations/implications - Misunderstandings can occur in dialogue between researchers and decision-makers. Future interpretive research should consider participant observation and conceptual modelling. A computational study might incorporate situational differences, roles, and the issues identified in this study.Practical implications - Awareness of the prevalence of analogy in decision making can help practitioners critically evaluate the analogies used and consider multiple perspectives on problematic situations.Originality/value - The article adds to the literature by taking a qualitative approach to analogising. The findings offer some support to prior research using laboratory and analytical approaches, while suggesting reconsiderations and offering new insights.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 3, no 2, 104-126 p.
Keyword [en]
Business / Economics - Business studies
Keyword [sv]
Ekonomi - Företagsekonomi
Research subject
Accounting and Control
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-9840DOI: 10.1108/17465640810900531Local ID: 888617d0-7e47-11dd-935c-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:982778
Validerad; 2008; 20080909 (anders_n)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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