Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Theses & dissertations (College of Business)


Business and Technology (Management)

First Advisor

Marc H. Anderson


Managerial cognition research adopts theories from cognitive and social psychology to study how executives’ information processing approach and other cognitive processes affect the decisions they make and ultimately the firms they lead. This dissertation consists of three papers that draw on construal level theory to study how CEOs’ tendency toward thinking at abstract versus concrete construals (i.e., thinking more abstractly or concretely) influences their firms’ strategic orientation toward being more innovative. In the first essay, I develop a theoretical framework that draws on construal level theory to explain how CEOS' focus of attention and cognitive representations affect their strategic choices in terms of futurity and riskiness. In the second essay, I extend this framework by relating CEO construal levels to the R&D intensity of firms, and also examine the impact of CEO integrative complexity on R&D effectiveness. I propose and test hypotheses using archival measures of cognition in a sample of public high-tech firms. In the third essay, I examine the role of CEO construal level and cognitive flexibility on firm-level exploration and exploitation using a survey of CEOs of small and medium-sized Korean firms. Results of the second and third studies support the impact of CEO construal levels, integrative complexity, and cognitive flexibility on firm innovation attributes.


Copyright Owner

Mehdi Samimi



File Format


File Size

130 pages

Available for download on Sunday, August 28, 2022