Seoul Journal of Economics
[ Article ]
Seoul Journal of Economics - Vol. 24, No. 3, pp.247-286
ISSN: 1225-0279 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Aug 2011
Received 19 Jan 2011 Revised 24 Feb 2011 Accepted 25 Feb 2011

 Toward Formal Representations of Search Processes and Routines in Organizational Problem Solving: An Assessment of the State-of-the-Art

Giovanni Dosi ; Marco Faillo ; Luigi Marengo ; Daniele Moschella
Corresponding Author, Professor, LEM-Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Piazza Martiri della Liberta', 33-I-56127 Pisa, Italy, Tel: +39-050-883343, Fax: +39-050-883344
Assistant Professor, University of Trento, Via Inama 5, 38122, Trento, Italy, Tel: +39-0461 28-2280
Professor, LEM-Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Piazza Martiri della Liberta', 33-I-56127 Pisa, Italy, Tel: +39-050-883343
Ph. D. Student, LEM-Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Piazza Martiri della Liberta', 33-I-56127 Pisa, Italy, Tel: +39-050-883343

JEL Classification: D23, D83, L22


This paper presents a critical overview of some recent attempts at building formal models of organizations as information-processing and problem-solving entities. We distinguish between two classes of models according to two distinct objects of analysis. The first class includes models mainly addressing information processing and learning; the second class includes models focusing upon the relationship between the division of cognitive labor and search process in some problem-solving space. The results begin to highlight important comparative properties regarding the impact on problem-solving efficiency and learning of different forms of hierarchical governance, the dangers of lock-in associated with specific forms of adaptive learning, the relative role of “online” vs. “offline” learning, the impact of the “cognitive maps” which organizations embody, the possible trade-offs between accuracy and speed of convergence associated with different “decomposition schemes,” the (ambiguous) role of organizational memory in changing environments.


Information processing, Problem-solving, Organizational learning, Routines


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