Outlining the Value of Cognitive Studies in Increasing the Strategic Management within Organizations

Outlining the Value of Cognitive Studies in Increasing the Strategic Management within Organizations

Aida Varela Varela (Federal University of Bahia, Brazil), Marilene Lobo Abreu Barbosa (Federal University of Bahia, Brazil) and Maria Giovanna Guedes Farias (Federal University of Bahia, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7536-0.ch008


The purpose of this chapter is to examine the value of cognitive studies in the optimization of strategic management through improved information systems. To reach this objective, cognitive concepts and their developments are initially contrasted with learning, mediation, and skills development, and the experiences in companies, for example, are presented by applying the Structural Cognitive Modifiability Theory (SCMT) and the Mediated Learning Experience theory (MLE), which were developed through the Instrumental Enrichment Programs (IEP) created by Reuven Feuerstein in order to describe the trajectory through which a subject arrives at a solution to a problem. In conclusion, professions undergo profound changes of a complex and diverse nature as a result of the political, economic, and social situation that leads to interdependence and competition, requiring an overhaul of theories and educational practices in order to align the professional profiles with the social and productive demands that require independent reflective, creative, proactive professionals.
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Strategic Management In Organizations

It is known that strategic management consists of a series of activities designed to align the internal resources of an organization to the external environment, and that it emerged from the conceptual evolution of planning, expanding and integrating various concepts and practices in order to successfully address the growing complexity in the business world due to technological developments and the globalization of markets.

Strategic management incorporates strategic planning into the decision-making processes in all areas of the organization, as it brings together planning and administration in a single process that aims to ensure necessary actions are taken, so that the various parts of the organization are participating, integrated, involved and committed to the decision-making process.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Competence: Is the ability of an individual to do a job properly. A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation and development of the behaviors in individual employees. Some scholars see “competence” as a combination of practical and theoretical knowledge, cognitive skills, behavior and values used to improve performance; or as the state or quality of being adequately or well qualified, having the ability to perform a specific role.

Knowledge: Helps persons to make sense out of their sensations. Knowledge resides in the brain, inside of the skills. It may be considered at several levels of abstraction. Useful knowledge consists of relationships among concepts having predictive power. Sometimes knowledge is formalized (academic knowledge); other times it is experiential and empirically formulated.

Cognitive Tools: Help us to make possible the action upon, or operating on, direct experience to organize and transform internal and external sources of information, to internalize them in representational levels. They are used to organized, coordinated and internalized sets of actions required by the mental act or specific learning task, and making possible representation of experience into higher order, cognitively more distant experiences.

Mediated Learning Experience theory (MLE): The interactional process between the developing human organism (the learner) and an experienced, intentional person (the mediator), who - by interposing him or herself between the learner and external sources of stimulation – mediates the experience by selecting, framing, focusing, intensifying, and feeding back environmental experiences in such a way as to produce appropriate learning sets and habits.

Structural Cognitive Modifiability Theory (SCMT): Theory elaborated by Reuven Feuerstein. He argues that intelligence should be viewed as a dynamic construct; that the human cognitive faculty is flexible, not fixed. Feuerstein’s view of cognitive development is rooted in the theory of Mediated Learning Experience (MLE). Structural changes refer not to isolated events but to the organism’s manner of interacting with, that is, acting on and responding to, sources of information. A structural change once set in motion, will determine the future course of an individual’s development. Then, cognitive modifiability refers to structure changes, or to changes in the state of the organism, brought about by a deliberated program of intervention.

Mental Act: A strategy or set of rules which serve to organize internal and external sources of information. All cognitive behaviors are ultimately mental acts, which differ in various dimensions. Effective mental acts require adequate and adaptive cognitive functions and are subject to modifiability through cognitive tools.

Instrumental Enrichment Programs (IEP): The Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment program consists of more than 500 pages of paper-and-pencil exercises, divided into 15 instruments. Each instrument focuses on a specific cognitive deficiency but addresses itself to the acquisition of many other prerequisites of learning as well. The major goal of Instrumental Enrichment is to increase the capacity of the human organism to become modified through direct exposure to stimuli and experiences provided by the encounters with life events and with formal and informal learning opportunities.

Mediation: A major aim is to integrate knowledge about humans by drawing on various approaches and methods. The mediation processes can have very different forms, depending not only on the nature of the conflict, but also on the role of the mediator and the mediation style. Mediation tends to facilitate interactions by solving and preventing problems and conflicts either by offering formal structures that develop negotiation and conflicts resolution processes or by preparing several protagonists that in their daily life will apply and use these concepts and competences of apprenticeship in the cognitive and social domain.

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