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Faculty & Research


The Role of Attribution in Learning from Performance Feedback: Behavioral Perspective on the Choice between Alliances and Acquisitions

Journal Article
The causal attribution of performance has not been explicitly considered in the performance feedback literature, despite its potential value in learning from prior performance. In this study, the authors develop a theory concerning the attribution in learning from performance feedback and explore how the attribution of past alliance performance can influence a firm’s choice between future acquisitions and alliances. The authors also examine the mechanisms by which attribution manifests by exploring how three theoretical factors, known to influence attribution, can moderate the relationship - the diffusion of responsibility, the perceived capability of partners, and the ambiguity of performance information. The authors find strong evidence supporting their predictions. This study contributes to the performance feedback literature by integrating attribution with performance feedback theory. It also extends research on corporate strategy by providing a behavioral account of the choice between acquisitions and alliances.

Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise