ICOA Seminar by José Pablo Arrieta

José Pablo Arrieta, from Amsterdan Business School, will present a seminar on Attention from the Bottom Down: Insights from Single-Celled Organisms on Self-Organization at ICOA.

Attention lies at the foundation of distinct research fields. Within management, scholars sourced the concept from psychology, cognitive science, and the neuroscience of sight. These deep micro-foundations serve as the bedrock upon which the attention-based view (ABV) was built. Although these foundations are deep, in this paper I dig deeper still. I will present insights from a single-celled organism, physarum polycephalum, and explore how this organism’s nuclei self-organize and outperform our best algorithms at solving complex problems. Crucially, the minimal computing power of each nucleus parallels the three forms of attention studied by the ABV. By using computational models that replicate the behavior of physarum, I explore how organizations emerge from the bootstraps of individual-level attention and help firms solve problems and adapt to change.