Department of Management Science, Strathclydc Business School This issue of the Joumal o Management Studies is devoted to a selection of f articles that explore the uses of cognitive maps or cause maps for research and intervention in organizations. Before introducing the articles I shall introduce the topic itself and seek to clarifjr its status in relation to its aims. The label cognitive maps has been used for several decades and originates from the ideas of Tolman (1948) who wished to develop an alternative to the stimulus-response model of man (see Neisser, 1967). The term is often misleading for it implies that the map is a model of cognition, that is, a model of thinking. Few maps, or more precisely, mapping methods, can reasonably make, let alone substantiate this claim. The ability of a map to be a model of cognition depends mostly upon two characteristics of the mapping method: (1) the adequacy .of the cognitive theory which guides the modelling or representation technique and the extent to which that modelling technique is a good reflection of the theory; and (2) the method of elicitation of cognition. The second of these requirements is particularly problematic because, if we
Journal of Management Studies – Wiley
Published: May 1, 1992
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