The ability to anticipate environmental developments is crucial for firms to survive in the long run. Despite a ubiquity of research into how adaptation takes place, there is still a lot to be understood. This study applies a cognitive perspective to explore the dynamics of adaptation within two large financial services providers in different national contexts. From the cases emerge a number of patterns concerning the link between perceptions and business beliefs of decision-makers, interrelations between structure and action, and the role of middle managers in top-down organizational adaptation processes. The study suggests that the explicit multi-level consideration of both surface-level actions and underlying cognitive dynamics can help managers adapt their organizations effectively to changing environments.

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Erasmus University Rotterdam. Rotterdam School of Management. Promotor(es): Prof.dr. F.A.J. van den Bosch, Prof.dr. H.W. Volberda. Other members: Prof.dr. J.M. Bartunek, Prof.dr. A.Y. Lewin, Dr. G. Patriotta
H.W. Volberda (Henk) , F.A.J. van den Bosch (Frans)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Dijksterhuis, M. S. (2003, September 18). Intelligent Adaptation. Organizational dynamics of cognition and action in the changing Dutch and U.S. banking industries (No. ERIM PhD Series;EPS-2003-26-STR). ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management. Retrieved from