Imperial College London


Business School

Professor of Strategy and Sustainability



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BibTex format

author = {Brusoni, S and Laureiro-Martínez, D and Canessa, N and Zollo, M},
doi = {icc/dtz070},
journal = {Industrial and Corporate Change},
pages = {207--223},
title = {Exploring exploration: The role of affective states as forces that hinder change},
url = {},
volume = {29},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved. In this article we argue that in order to understand failure or success in adapting to environmental change, we should better understand why people hesitate to pursue novel choices. This article asks: what forces hinder individuals' exploration choices of different alternatives, and hence their ability to learn from them? To answer this question, this article looks to the cognitive sciences to identify a set of plausible mechanisms that hinder people's tendency to explore. So far, "exploration" has been studied as a relatively monolithic behavior. Instead, we propose that exploration can be characterized in terms of some distinctive forces behind it. On one hand, agents experience "attachment" to choices that proved successful in the past, and hence comfort when sticking with them. On the other hand, they also experience concerns about less familiar options, as they lack knowledge about "distant" choices that have not been tried for a long time, or ever. We propose that high attachment is related to anxiety, and high distance to fear. Both these negative affective states hinder exploration. We find and discuss preliminary and tentative evidence of this effect.
AU - Brusoni,S
AU - Laureiro-Martínez,D
AU - Canessa,N
AU - Zollo,M
DO - icc/dtz070
EP - 223
PY - 2020///
SN - 0960-6491
SP - 207
TI - Exploring exploration: The role of affective states as forces that hinder change
T2 - Industrial and Corporate Change
UR -
VL - 29
ER -