Journal of International Information Management


Extant strategic management literature provides only partial answer to the important question: What variables affect top managers' ability to process complicated, novel, ambiguous, or dynamic strategic information in a turbulent environment? Drawn upon cognitive psychology, personality theory, management theory, organizational theory, and management information systems literatures, this paper proposes that nine personal attributes and four contextual attributes affect top managers' information processing capability. The nine personal attributes are: cognitive complexity, knowledge, mental model of success, open-mindedness, time orientation, personal values, tolerance for ambiguity, locus of control, and time devoted to environmental scanning. The four contextual attributes are: rewards and incentives, culture, structure of strategic planning process, and executive support systems. Thirteen propositions are postulated regarding the types of attributes that are conducive for top managers' ability in processing complicated, novel, ambiguous, or dynamic information.