Towards an attention-based view of the firm

William Ocasio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1483 Scopus citations


The central argument is that firm behavior is the result of how firms channel and distribute the attention of their decision-makers. What decision-makers do depends on what issues and answers they focus their attention on. What issues and answers they focus on depends on the specific situation and on how the firm's rules, resources, and relationships distribute various issues, answers, and decision-makers into specific communications and procedures. The paper develops these theoretical principles into a model affirm behavior and presents its implications for explaining firm behavior and adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-206
Number of pages20
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue numberSPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997



  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • Social structure
  • Theory of the firm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management

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