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The role of individuals in the information processing perspective



Researchers' primary concern with respect to the information processing perspective has been to understand how structural features influence the organization's ability to draw upon and utilize information for resolving problems, ignoring the primary role of individuals as the information processors within the organization. To shed light on this issue, we employ a quasi-experimental design to examine the effects of two structural types, organic and mechanistic, on individuals' gathering, interpretation, and synthesis of information and, in turn, their problem-solving orientation. Holding the external context constant, our evidence shows that individuals do process information differently under the two structural types, which then leads to different comfort levels in dealing with organizational problems. These findings highlight the importance of considering the microfoundations of the information processing perspective. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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