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Revista de Administração Contemporânea

versão On-line ISSN 1982-7849

Resumo

RAMOS, Simone Cristina; FERREIRA, Jane Mendes  e  GIMENEZ, Fernando Antonio Prado. Cognition of the competitive environment: a study of mental constructs used by small business owners. Rev. adm. contemp. [online]. 2011, vol.15, n.3, pp.392-412. ISSN 1982-7849.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-65552011000300003.

The cognitive approach may be useful in understanding the elements that pervade the process of analyzing organizations' competitive environment. Respecting its complexity, the approach helps in understanding managers' intentions and their processes of world representation. Consistent with this proposal, this article aims to identify and analyze the mental constructs used by managers to assess their competitive environment and highlights the association among such constructs with reference context (RC) and sector of activity. The method allied quantitative and qualitative procedures and differentiates itself from other studies in the use of  Kelly's Repgrid. This technique has as its main premise that the understanding of the world is associated with the categorization of elements of perception by individuals. The sample consisted of 48 small industrial firms located in Curitiba-PR. The results indicated that the set of constructs used is unique to each leader; however cognitive commonalities could be noticed in the more frequent use of six constructs. The analysis shows that managers' adoption of constructs is not dependent on RC and on sector of activity as well. The findings allow inferences about the mental constructs of the respondents in terms of their frames of reference and the assessment of the competitive environment.

Palavras-chave : competitive environment; cognition; small firms.

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