Organizational Strategic Processing: A Latent Variable Analysis

Date of Award

Spring 8-15-2013

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Strategic processing is broadly considered to be the higher-order cognitive processing that facilitates the efficient attainment of goals. Through strategic processing, we optimize completion of a wide variety of tasks such as reading, organizing information, and solving difficult problems. One form of strategic processing is organizational strategic processing (OSP), which may be described as the ability to assemble information into a framework that promotes efficient goal attainment. Despite the importance of using organizational strategies in daily life, no empirically based conceptualization of OSP as a construct exists. This lack of inquiry is in stark contrast with research on other cognitive constructs (e.g., memory, attention) that have been extensively studied to establish their definitions and structures. The widespread mention of organizational strategies in studies of strategic processing suggests that OSP is a unitary construct; however, empirical data are needed to confirm or refute this notion. Thus, the overarching aim of this study is to establish an empirically based conceptualization of OSP.

In the present study, 200 adults were administered a battery of cognitive tasks that have been used in previous research to measure OSP. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine three proposed models of how OSP may be conceptualized: (1) as a unitary construct, (2) on the basis of cognitive domain (e.g., organizational memory strategies versus organizational fluency strategies), or (3) on the basis of semantic versus non-semantic processing. Contrary to hypothesis, none of these models provided an accurate representation of OSP. In fact, the findings demonstrated that a good-fitting model of the data was one in which none of the strategic variables shared significant variance aside from method variance due to being from the same cognitive tasks. These results suggest that OSP may be best conceptualized within the context of specific task demands rather than as a unitary construct.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Desiree A White

Committee Members

Deanna M Barch, Lisa T Connor, Denise Head, Tamara Hershey, Thomas L Rodebaugh


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K7VD6WDJ

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