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Tolerance of ambiguity and emotional attitudes in a changing business environment: A case of Greek IT CEOs

Christos Nicolaidis (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)
Kleanthis Katsaros (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 22 February 2011




The aim of the research is to investigate the influence of emotional attitudes towards change on managers' tolerance of ambiguity.


A total of 70 CEOs of Greek IT firms completed questionnaires examining tolerance of ambiguity, emotional attitudes towards change ambiguity and job satisfaction. Principal components analysis and ordinary regression analyses were used to explore the hypotheses.


The paper finds that three factors characterize managers' emotional attitudes towards change, namely dominance, arousal, and pleasure. Furthermore, it indicates that job satisfaction can be taken as a critical intervention variable that “energizes” managers' arousal (i.e. stimulation, excitement and frenzy) which, in turn, influences their tolerance of ambiguity.

Research limitations/implications

Deeper and broader level of research is necessary in Greek IT industry regarding the influence of emotional attitudes on tolerance of ambiguity. Likewise, this research should be expanded to other industries.

Practical implications

The findings provide further support on the significance of emotional attitudes during change and the paper suggests policies to enhance managers' tolerance of ambiguity.


The originality of this study lies in the finding that job satisfaction energizes the arousal factor, which, in turn, influences significantly managers' tolerance of ambiguity. Another important contributing factor is that the study is carried out in Greece, where few studies have been conducted in this area.



Nicolaidis, C. and Katsaros, K. (2011), "Tolerance of ambiguity and emotional attitudes in a changing business environment: A case of Greek IT CEOs", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 44-61.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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