Our aim is to develop and test theory on the behavioural foundations of firm performance, using agent-based modelling, to address the following questions:

  • How do the cognitive capabilities (i.e. bounded rationality constraints) and emotional capabilities (i.e. motivational constraints) of individuals and groups influence the ability of firms to identity, pursue and compete for strategic opportunities (hereafter, opportunity capture)?
  • Which competing theoretical descriptions of individual and group capabilities – specifically, those predicated on ‘hot cognition’ versus ‘cold cognition’ – best account for the range of well-documented behavioural impediments to opportunity capture (e.g. learning failures, biased information search, cognitive inertia, threat rigidity, and prospect neglect)?
  • How do organizational (e.g. structure, culture) and industry (e.g. dynamism, munificence) factors moderate the effects of cognitive and emotional capabilities?

Explaining organizational behaviour with an agent-based approach involves representing formally the individual behaviour and decisions of the agents composing the organization, with a focus on how the interaction among these produce behaviour at the collective (i.e. organizational) level. The approach allows rigorous testing, refinement, and extension of existing theories that given their complexity have proven difficult to formulate and evaluate using standard statistical and mathematical tools. It can also provide a deeper understanding of complex theoretical relationships among constructs when data are scarce or difficult to obtain.

On the different tabs, you will find additional information about us and our activities within the project.