Adaptive Aspirations and Attention Rules

Luca Berchicci*, Murat Tarakci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The behavioral theory of the firm (BTOF) proposes that firm behavior is goal-directed and that organizational aspirations are a function of prior historical aspirations, past performance, and the performance of others. Despite the centrality of aspirations in the BTOF, little is known about aspiration formation and why firms favor one aspiration type over others, i.e., attention rules. Drawing on the attention-based view, we posit that attention rules are shaped by environmental volatility over time and vary by locus of attention across firms. Data from US manufacturing firms managing their toxic chemical waste provide evidence for attention-rule adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Early online date22 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2021


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