IMCA Research Seminar - Christoph Brielmaier, University of Bamberg

Institute of Marketing and Communication Management

Date: 23.11.2023 / 12:30 - 13:30

Room 251

Creating order where there is none: The reconciliation of fragmented attention structures through framing practices


In this paper, we advance the attention-based-view of the firm by providing a novel perspective on attention structures. Based on extant literature, we argue that attention structures may be fragmented, pulling actors’ attention in different directions. We investigate the impact of attention structures on employees’ (non-)participation decision in an internal innovation contest in a low-cost location and show the underpinnings of fragmented attention structures. Drawing on a framing perspective, we explore how individual actors create a coherent view of the situation. We reveal that actors reconcile fragmented attention structures by applying particular situated framing practices, enabling them to shape the value (via individual-oriented framing practices) and legitimacy (organizational-oriented framing practices) of the decisions available. Thereby, actors engage in what we conceptualize as attention crafting, strengthening or weakening the effect of certain attention regulators. We provide a model of decision-making in instances of fragmented structures and thereby make three important theoretical contributions to the ABV. First, we unpack the concept of fragmented attention structures and its meaning for organizations. Second, we argue that attention structures are socially accomplished, implying a role shift of lower-level actors in the ABV from receiver to active interpreter and designer of attention structures. Finally, we add theoretical nuance to research challenging attention allocation as a cognitive phenomenon by unpacking how individual acts of framing accomplish time, effort and attention to a particular decision.