Using Causal Mapping to Uncover Cognitive Diversity within a Top Management Team

Using Causal Mapping to Uncover Cognitive Diversity within a Top Management Team

David P. Tegarden (Virginia Tech, USA), Linda F. Tegarden (Virginia Tech, USA) and Steven D. Sheetz (Virginia Tech, USA)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-396-8.ch009
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Abstract

The cognitive diversity of top management teams has been shown to affect the performance of a firm. In some cases, cognitive diversity has been shown to improve firm performance, in other cases, it has worsened firm performance. Either way, it is useful to understand the cognitive diversity of a top management team. However, most approaches to measure cognitive diversity never attempt to open the “black box” to understand what makes up the cognitive diversity of the team. This research reports on an approach that identifies diverse belief structures, i.e., cognitive factions, through the use of causal mapping and cluster analysis. The results show that the use of causal mapping provides an efficient and effective way to identify idiosyncratic and shared knowledge among members of a top management team. This approach allows the cognitive diversity of the top management team to not only to be uncovered, but also to be understood.

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