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Looking out of the window & into the mirror: The role of managerial attention in shaping responses to industry change

12 May 2021 - 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Abstract: While heterogeneity among incumbents in how they respond to dynamics that affect technology and business models has long been a topic of interest, much of the research has focused on awareness and interpretation of external changes as a key predictor of adaptation. Case studies and recent reviews, however, have highlighted the importance of internal processes and changes to managing the adaptation process. We offer theory on the types of intra-organizational factors that either enable or inhibit managerial attention to lead to adaptation. Using detailed data on the emergence of distributed energy production in the US electricity industry, we show that managerial attention to the distributed production business model alone is not enough to lead to adaptation. Instead, CEO attention to intra-organizational issues like structure and processes amplified the effect of technological attention, while splitting attention between technologies and managing complex, multiunit firms dampened the adaptive effect of technological attention. The theory and results highlight the importance of intra-organizational processes as key enablers or inhibitors of organizational change.


12 May 2021
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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TUM School of Management
Arcisstraße 21
München, 80333 Germany


Name (Seminar)
J. P. Eggers
Link Name (Seminar)
NYU Stern School of Business
Amy Zhao Ding
Host Link


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TUM School of Management
Arcisstraße 21
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