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Perceived uncertainty and use of environmental information in decision making: The case of the United Arab Emirates

Ali Abu-Rahma (Abu Dhabi University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)
Bushra Jaleel (College of Business, Abu Dhabi University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 7 February 2019

Issue publication date: 8 July 2019




This paper aims to investigate the nature and prevalence of environmental scanning as practiced by organizations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and explore the impact of perceived uncertainty on the way various information sources are used in managerial decision-making. Specifically, by targeting firms in the region, the paper examines whether the degree and frequency of scanning activities influence the relationship between perceived uncertainty and the use of environmental information in making strategic decisions.


The study uses a cross-sectional research design, with self-administered questionnaires as the main mode of data collection, and uses quantitative data analysis tools to answer the research questions.


The study finds that perceived environmental uncertainty significantly influences scanning efforts in an organization, which in turn influence the use of environmental information in decision-making. Additionally, findings suggest that while perceived source quality significantly influences frequency of scanning, the influence of perceived source accessibility on scanning is statistically insignificant.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study have several implications for academics in the field of strategic management and industry professionals involved in long range planning. Results indicate that scanning activities should be more extensive and frequent when perceived uncertainty is high and indicates the potential value of timely market research to assess demand, gather consumer feedback and respond to changing needs of the customers.


The study addresses an identified gap in the literature and adds to the existing body of work by exploring organizational practices in a unique cultural context and assessing a conceptual model that links perceived uncertainty and environmental scanning to strategic management practices.



Abu-Rahma, A. and Jaleel, B. (2019), "Perceived uncertainty and use of environmental information in decision making: The case of the United Arab Emirates", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 690-711.



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