Abstract

Ocasio (1997) argues that “what decision-makers do depends on what issues and answers they focus their attention on”. We develop this argument further by postulating that very frequently decision-makers have to (due to cognitive limitations) adjust the “zoom” of their focus, e.g., decide how narrow or broad their attention should be to a specific event or project. Specifically we probe how organizations manage the breadth of their attention, the “zoom”, in response to strategic pressures, such as time pressure (Kocher & Sutter, 2006; Rahman & De Feis, 2009) and strategic change (Cho and Hambrick, 2006) and how this zoom is enlarged or narrowed due to organization’s participation in strategic alliances. We investigate these issues in the venture capital setting where the issue of attention allocation among various portfolio projects at once is highly salient for Venture Capital Firms (VCFs).

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