On Trees and Triviality Traps: Locating the Debate on the Contribution of Cognitive Mapping to Organizational Research

  • Daniels K
  • Johnson G
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In his critique of Daniels et al. (2002), Hodgkinson (2001a) raises a number of issues concerning the use and comparison of ideographic cognitive maps. Hodgkinson claims that there are problems associated with global similarity ratings, and that ideographic methods should be replaced by methods that have some nomothetic component. In reply, we show that the specific issues raised by Hodgkinson are not at all problematic in the context of the research questions addressed by Daniels et al. We examine Hodgkinson's proposed alternative and explain why it would not be appropriate for the questions addressed by Daniels et al. We then argue that Hodgkinson's approach, far from being a panacea for problems in cognitive mapping research, will deflect from the issues of real debate in this area.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cognition
  • Cognitive mapping
  • Institutional environment
  • Institutional theory
  • Mental models
  • Task environment

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  • Kevin Daniels

  • Gerry Johnson

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