Bypassing managerial cognitive inertia: Innovation cognition in-the-making

Kati Järvi, Liisa Välikangas

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review


The role managerial cognition plays in strategic renewal has been studied by prior literature. We build on this research but going beyond management, we examine cognition among non-managers (here: innovation program participants) as they self-appoint themselves as change agents to solve business challenges in real-time. As expected, we found managerial cognition initially resistant to open ideation. Nevertheless, we found the program participants expanding their organizational cognition in relation to innovation. They did not directly challenge the managerial cognition but addressed issues that allowed them to separate problem definition and the search for solutions while circulating the solutions and their related cognition across the business units. Our study contributes with an empirical examination of how participants in an organization expand and circulate non-managerial cognition related to innovation and renewal, in interaction with management but without being cognitively caged or dominated. We theorize a process of developing such innovation cognition-at-large and consider its manifestations at different levels of, and across, the organization.
Original languageEnglish
ProceedingAcademy of Management Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event2016 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM) - Anaheim, United States
Duration: 05.08.201609.08.2016
Conference number: 76


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive inertia
  • Innovation
  • Managerial cognition
  • Self-appointed change agents
  • Strategic renewal


Dive into the research topics of 'Bypassing managerial cognitive inertia: Innovation cognition in-the-making'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this