Case studies of firms attempting to adopt a particular type of technological innovation have demonstrated that the process of technological innovation may be mediated by decision‐makers' access to knowledge and by their cognitions—reflected in belief systems. This paper highlights the importance of cognitions in decisions about technological innovation. However, cognitive processes have been under emphasized in empirical work on technological innovation and part of the problem may have been lack of availability of research tools and techniques with which to explore cognitions. Cognitive mapping methodologies are reviewed in terms of their potential to fill this gap in the research into technological innovation. The paper discusses these methodologies, evaluates their limitations and argues that a distinction should be made between cognitive maps and the output of mapping techniques. This paper concludes that cognitive mapping may provide a useful addition to existing management research tools provided researchers are clear about what is revealed by the particular methodology used.
British Journal of Management – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1997
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