A Review of Cognitive Dissonance Theory in Management Research: Opportunities for Further Development

Amanda S. Hinojosa, William L. Gardner, H. Jack Walker, Claudia Cogliser, Daniel Gullifor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since its introduction to the social psychology literature 60 years ago, Festinger’s cognitive dissonance theory (CDT) has been frequently applied to the management literature to explain and predict the motivational nature of dissonance in producing attitude and behavior change in managerial decision making and the broader organizational context. Yet many of the popular constructs that stem from CDT have since lost touch with more recent developments in the field of origin. In this paper, we provide a review of the key constructs and predictions associated with CDT from Festinger’s early work to the latest developments. We then review key management research that has incorporated CDT. Drawing from the latest refinements to CDT, we describe how future management studies could benefit by integrating these refinements into their theoretical frameworks, rather than simply relying on Festinger’s seminal work on the 60th anniversary of its publication (1957).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-199
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Management
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • attitude change
  • cognition
  • cognitive dissonance
  • management
  • managerial decision making
  • motivation

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