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Uncertainty and subjective task complexity in the information-seeking behaviour of lawyers: A structural invariance analysis

Nafisat Toyin Adewale (International Islamic University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Yushiana Mansor (International Islamic University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Muhammad-Bashir Owolabi Yusuf (University Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia)
Ahmeed Onikosi (Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, Nigeria)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 4 July 2017




This study investigates the moderating effects of age, experience and educational qualification on the relationship between uncertainty and subjective task complexity among lawyers working in private law firms in Lagos State, Nigeria.


A survey method was adopted and data were gathered using questionnaires. The analysis was carried out based on partial least squares structural equation modelling using SmartPLS 2.0 M3 software.


Results showed that the effect of uncertainty on subjective task complexity is significantly moderated by age, educational attainment, experience of the lawyers under study.

Research limitations/implications

Although data were collected in the most populated state and commercial hub of Nigeria, generalisation based on findings may still need to be made with caution.

Practical implications

Attainment of higher educational qualification is highly important for lawyers even though the minimum requirement to practice as a lawyer is a degree. Lawyers with higher degrees (LLM and PhD) had less uncertainty and perceived their tasks to be less complex compared to their counterparts who had the first degree (LLB).


The demographic profile of professionals (age, education and experience) has proven to have an impact on their perception about task complexity as determined by uncertainty as found in this study.



Adewale, N.T., Mansor, Y., Yusuf, M.-B.O. and Onikosi, A. (2017), "Uncertainty and subjective task complexity in the information-seeking behaviour of lawyers: A structural invariance analysis", Library Review, Vol. 66 No. 4/5, pp. 266-281.



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