• An exploration of the cognitive style profiles among entrepreneurs

      Bouckenooghe, Dave; Van den Broeck, Herman; Cools, Eva; Vanderheyden, Karlien (2005)
      In this article we reopen the search for those features that distinguish entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs. Because the trait psychology approach failed to fulfill this promise the cognitive psychology approach was adopted. The exploration of cognitive styles among 497 entrepreneurs and 521 non-entrepreneurs in Flanders distinguishes six profiles: omnipotent thinkers, lazy thinkers, pacesetters, experts, inventors, and implementors. A comparison of both groups yields differences in the prevalence of inventors and implementors. We find significantly more inventors in the group of entrepreneurs and significantly more implementors in the group of non-entrepreneurs. Finally, the results of this study also indicate that entrepreneurs may differ in the cognitive style profiles they hold. Keywords: cognitive styles, entrepreneurs, non-entrepreneurs, cluster analysis
    • Individual differences in cognitive styles: Development, validation and cross-validation of the Cognitive Style Inventory

      Van den Broeck, Herman; Vanderheyden, Karlien; Cools, Eva (2003)
      This paper aims to describe the construction and validation of a new instrument for measuring cognitive styles - the Cognitive Style Inventory (CoSI) - that is particularly useful in an organizational context. Three successive studies are conducted to validate and cross-validate the Cognitive Style Inventory. The internal consistency of the Cognitive Style Inventory is high. Factor analyses confirm the existence of four different cognitive styles. To examine convergent and discriminant validity, the following measures are used: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Life Orientation Test (LOT), and a Likert-scale version of Rotter's Internal-External (I-E) locus of control scale. Substantial support is found for the instrument's convergent and discriminant validity. Future research and practical implications are discussed.
    • Managing with style: a qualitative study on how cognitve styles influence managerial behaviour

      Cools, Eva; Van den Broeck, Herman (2006)
      Our study aims to contribute to an enhanced understanding of how cognitive styles, being individual preferences for perceiving and processing information, influence managerial behaviour using a qualitative approach. Based on content analysis of written testimonies of 100 managers, we found interesting differences between managers with a knowing, planning, and creating style with regard to both task-oriented behaviour (decision making) and people-oriented behaviour (conflict management, interpersonal relationships). Although the tasks of different managers are largely the same, our study demonstrates that not all managers execute their job in the same way. Our results complement previous quantitative research on the link between cognitive styles and managerial behaviour. Although there is a wide theoretical and empirical interest in cognitive styles, qualitative studies that might provide further support to the practical relevance of cognitive styles for organisations is currently lacking. Because of the pivotal role of strong management and executive leadership on employee attitudes and financial performance, it is important to better understand the manager's characteristics. Our results may contribute to increased managerial self-awareness about the impact of their individual preferences on their management style. Keywords: cognitive styles, managerial job, qualitative study
    • Response preference in organizational behavior research: do respondents to classical and internet surveys possess different psychological characteristics

      Mestdagh, Steven; Buelens, Marc (2003)
      The Internet has become a widespread tool for conducting research in organizational behavior. Little is known, however, of the psychological characteristics of Internet users. In the present study, differences in motivation, satisfaction, behavioral patterns and work outcomes are examined among respondents who had the choice of either filling in an online or a traditional pen-and-paper version of a large-scale Flemish survey (N=5853). Participants in both groups were mostly professional workers. After controlling for demographic variables, our results suggest that those who responded over the Internet place higher importance on opportunities for self-development and on assuming responsibility than those who opted for the pen-and-paper version. Moreover, Internet respondents appeared to be less satisfied with the content of their jobs and with their bosses. They also reported a significantly higher intention to leave the organization. Finally, the Internet group reported less compulsive work addiction, fewer health complaints, and less work-to-family conflict. The results allow us to conclude that Internet respondents more closely represent the image of the modern professional workforce, as often characterized in terms of shifting psychological contracts, values and career expectations. KEYWORDS: Internet Surveys, Organizational Behavior
    • Searching the heffalump: using traits and cognitive styles to predict entrepreneurial orientation

      Cools, Eva; Van den Broeck, Herman (2006)
      The aim of this study was to get more insight into what typifies Flemish entrepreneurs. We compared entrepreneurs with non-entrepreneurs for five traits (tolerance for ambiguity, self-efficacy, proactive personality, locus of control, need for achievement) and for cognitive styles. Additionally, we used these trait and cognitive characteristics to predict variances in entrepreneurial orientation (EO). Whereas the link between EO and organizational performance has been studied intensively, the examination of possible antecedents of EO remains a white space. We found that entrepreneurs (N = 177) score significantly higher on all traits than non-entrepreneurs (N = 60). For the cognitive styles (measured with the Cognitive Style Indicator), we found that non-entrepreneurs score higher on the knowing and planning style. No differences were found for the creating style. With regard to the link between the entrepreneur's profile and EO, we found a significant contribution of tolerance for ambiguity and proactive personality to EO. Keywords: traits, cognitive styles, entrepreneurial orientation, entrepreneurs versus non-entrepreneurs
    • The Cognitive Style Indicator: Development and validation of a new measurement instrument

      Cools, Eva; Van den Broeck, Herman; Bouckenooghe, Dave (2006)
      This paper describes the development and validation of a cognitive style measure, the Cognitive Style Indicator (CoSI). Three studies were conducted to validate the CoSI. The first study consisted of 5924 employees who took part in a large-scale research with regard to career decisions. In the second study, 1580 people completed the CoSI as part of a ‘Competence Indicator' tool on the Internet. Finally, the third study comprised 635 MBA students who completed the CoSI in the context of a ‘Management and Organization' course. Reliability, item, and factor analyses demonstrated the internal consistency and homogeneity of three cognitive styles (knowing, planning, and creating style). In addition, substantial support was found for the instrument's construct validity by including other cognitive style instruments, and personality and ability measures in the validation process. Criterion-related validity was confirmed by examination of the relationship between these cognitive styles and work-related characteristics. The main contributions of our research lie in (a) the development of a valid and reliable cognitive style instrument for use in organizations, and in (b) the further refinement of the analytic-intuitive cognitive style dimension by splitting the analytic pole in a knowing and a planning style.
    • The field of cognitive styles: From a theoretical review to the construction of the cognitive style inventory

      Van den Broeck, Herman; Vanderheyden, Karlien; Cools, Eva (2003)
      Cognitive styles gained prominence in organizational behavior and management literature during the last decades. Researchers studied cognitive styles in relationship to various concepts and from various points of view. Different authors developed their own instruments of assessment to identify differences in cognitive styles. However, this theoretical and empirical pluralism makes the field of cognitive styles rather confusing and leads to inconsistent measurement results. Several authors try to create order in the diverse field by integration of the different theories. With this state of affairs in mind, the purpose of this article is twofold. Firstly, we attempt to demarcate and define succintly the field of cognitive style research. Secondly, we want to present our research on cognitive styles, which led tot the development of the Cognitive Style Inventory (CoSI). We are currently finalising the validation and cross-validation of our self-report questionnaire. The theoretical background of the questionnaire is presented. Because of the usefulness of the cognitive style concept for organizations, clarification of the research field and the development of a useful questionnaire to measure individual differences in cognitive styles are necessary.
    • The role of process, context and individual characteristics in explaining readiness to change: a multilevel analysis

      Bouckenooghe, Dave; Devos, Geert (2007)
      Organisational change often yields limited success. Failure in many cases is due to the motivation or readiness to change among employees. This article proposes and tests a multilevel model of readiness to change. Contrary to most works on readiness to change, readiness is conceptualised as a multifaceted construct (i.e. emotional involvement and commitment to change). Relationships of several context, process variables and locus of control with both components of readiness to change were examined. By means of a large scale survey administered in 56 public and private sector organisations, we collected 1,559 responses in total. Multilevel random coefficient modeling showed that a proportion of the total variance in emotional involvement and commitment to change is explained at the organizational level. Furthermore, the results indicated that the organization's change history, the sector (public versus private), participation in the change process and support of top management toward change are important variables in understanding readiness to change. Key words: commitment to change, context factors of change, emotional involvement, locus of control, multilevel analysis and process factors of change