Construal Level Theory in Organizational Research

Batia M. Wiesenfeld, Jean Nicolas Reyt, Joel Brockner, Yaacov Trope

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Construal level theory (CLT) offers a rich and rigorous conceptual model of how the context shapes mental representations and subsequent outcomes. The theory has generated new understanding of cognitions and behaviors such as prediction, evaluation, and decision making in the fields of psychology and consumer behavior. Recently, management and organizational scholars have begun to leverage CLT to derive novel insights regarding organizational phenomena. This article describes CLT and its theoretical underpinnings, provides a focused and integrated review of organizational research incorporating CLT, and offers an agenda for future work in which CLT opens the door to new avenues of inquiry in organizational research and reinvigorates scholarly interest in cognition in organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-400
Number of pages34
JournalAnnual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior
StatePublished - 2017


  • communication
  • construal level
  • ethics
  • innovation
  • motivation
  • organizational behavior
  • power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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