Search results

1 – 10 of over 29000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 18 October 2021

Colin Bien and Coco Klußmann

The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework that systematically captures the ambiguity of different understandings about science, the university and its relation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework that systematically captures the ambiguity of different understandings about science, the university and its relation to society, while conceptualising sustainability. Following Corley and Gioia (2004, p. 174) on identity ambiguity and change, it seems pivotal to better understanding the ambiguity of sustainability in relation to academic cultures and university models to manage the transition more effectively.

Design/methodology/approach

The nature of this paper’s objectives as well as the wide thematic scope leads to the need of exploring a broad knowledge base. This was best addressed by an exploratory literature review with data collection from primary and secondary sources. The data was interpreted through a hermeneutic analysis and resulted in the inductive development of first categories and goals (further referred to as category development). In addition, a multi-method approach further adjusted the categories and raised their empirical validity and social robustness.

Findings

Implementing sustainability involves dealing with a double bound ambiguity due to organisational and individual identity reasons. Five fields of ambiguity were developed to systemise the conceptualisation of a sustainable university along contradictory understandings of science, the university and sustainability. These fields offer a framework to qualitatively assess the degree of sustainability in higher education institutions. Arguments for and against sustainability in universities have been categorised around five criteria and associated to the fields of ambiguity. The finding indicates that meaning in organisational change management for sustainability can be considered both, a potential driver and barrier for a sustainability transition in universities.

Research limitations/implications

This paper exclusively focussed on the internal perspective and left aside any external factors that influence the sustainability transition, such as political measures to stimulate sustainability in higher education. In addition, the operational dimension of a sustainable university has been neglected, which is by all means a necessary and important aspect. The interrelation of the identified goals has not been discussed.

Originality/value

This paper focusses on the conceptualisation and understanding of sustainability within the institution, an often-forgotten but fundamental aspect of implementation. The fields of ambiguity are designed to be applied for assessing the “degree of maturity” of a sustainable university. The fields reveal the different understandings about the role, the mission and the governance of universities, stemming from competing preferences about goals and their assumed relations by various stakeholders of a higher education institutions. The five fields are not an attempt to resolve the hidden contradictions and tensions in a sustainability transition, but to state them clearly to anticipate resistances and conflicts that hinder the development of a shared understanding.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 10 September 2021

Olaf Hoffjann

Ambiguity has become a central concept in strategic communication research in recent years. This paper addresses three central deficits in the research to date. First…

Abstract

Purpose

Ambiguity has become a central concept in strategic communication research in recent years. This paper addresses three central deficits in the research to date. First, clarity-focused approaches and ambiguity-focused approaches are in opposition to each other, resulting in an exaggeration of the advantages and opportunities of the respective favored perspective and affording the opposing position little justification at best. Second, research on strategic ambiguity is by and large limited to the organizational perspective and has little interest in societal change. Third, there has been barely any research into concrete practices of strategic ambiguity and these practices have never been systematized.

Design/methodology/approach

The research questions will be answered on the basis of the “Theory of Social Systems” (TSS) by Niklas Luhmann, which can be attributed to the “Communication Constitutes Organization” (CCO) perspective. This perspective seems appropriate because the important concepts of communication and decision making play a central role in the TSS.

Findings

Strategic communication oscillates between clarity and ambiguity in order to defuse the dilemma and paradox. The re-entry of the distinction is a second-order observation and, thus, reveals the blind spots of clarity- and ambiguity-focused approaches. On this basis, a systematic approach is developed that encompasses various different dimensions of strategic clarity and ambiguity.

Practical implications

The paper focuses on the oscillation between strategic ambiguity and strategic clarity, making clear that the aim is not simply to substitute a new dominance of ambiguity for the clarity that has dominated textbooks thus far. Instead, it is a matter of reflective management of the distinction between strategic ambiguity and strategic clarity. The systematization of the practices of strategic ambiguity and strategic clarity can ultimately be used as a toolbox for the concrete application of strategic ambiguity and strategic clarity.

Originality/value

Overcoming the dualism of clarity-focused and ambiguity-focused approaches makes it possible, first, to explore the situational use of strategic clarity and strategic ambiguity. Second, the societal theoretical perspective shows the way in which organizations respond with strategic ambiguity to the increase in social contradictions without, however, being able to abandon strategic clarity. Third, using the systematic approach to the dimensions presented here, these practices can be described and examined in context.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Jenette Villegas Puyod and Peerayuth Charoensukmongkol

This study examines the effects of workplace rumors and organizational formalization on the degree of role ambiguity and emotional exhaustion that university employees in…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the effects of workplace rumors and organizational formalization on the degree of role ambiguity and emotional exhaustion that university employees in the Philippines are experiencing during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The interaction between the two variables is also analyzed.

Design/methodology/approach

Online survey data were obtained from 522 faculty members and staff at three public universities in the Philippines. The data were analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results show that both workplace rumors and organizational formalization are associated positively with role ambiguity and emotional exhaustion, and role ambiguity mediates workplace rumors' effect on emotional exhaustion. Moreover, the moderating effect analysis shows that workplace rumors and organizational formalization interact and intensify the degree of role ambiguity and emotional exhaustion that employees experience.

Originality/value

This study extends previous research by showing that employees who work in a highly formal structure can be extremely sensitive to workplace rumors during a period of uncertainty.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 22 August 2014

Alisa G. Brink, Eric Gooden and Meha Kohli Mishra

There has been much discussion regarding the necessity of moving away from precise (rules-based) standards toward less precise (principles-based) standards. This study…

Abstract

There has been much discussion regarding the necessity of moving away from precise (rules-based) standards toward less precise (principles-based) standards. This study examines the impact of the proposed shift by using a controlled experiment to evaluate the influence of rule precision and information ambiguity on reporting decisions in the presence of monetary incentives to report aggressively. Using motivated reasoning theory as a framework, we predict that the malleability inherent in both rule precision and information ambiguity amplify biased reasoning in a manner that is consistent with individuals’ pecuniary incentives. In contrast, consistent with research exploring ambiguity aversion we predict that high levels of ambiguity will actually attenuate aggressive reporting. Our results support these predictions. Specifically, we find an interactive effect between rule precision and information ambiguity on self-interested reporting decisions at moderate levels of ambiguity. However, consistent with ambiguity aversion, we find decreased self-interested reporting decisions at high levels of ambiguity relative to moderate ambiguity. This study should be of interest to preparers, auditors, and regulators who are interested in identifying situations which amplify and diminish aggressive reporting.

Details

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-445-9

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2008

Soo Hong Chew, King King Li, Robin Chark and Songfa Zhong

Purpose – This experimental economics study using brain imaging techniques investigates the risk-ambiguity distinction in relation to the source preference hypothesis (Fox…

Abstract

Purpose – This experimental economics study using brain imaging techniques investigates the risk-ambiguity distinction in relation to the source preference hypothesis (Fox & Tversky, 1995) in which identically distributed risks arising from different sources of uncertainty may engender distinct preferences for the same decision maker, contrary to classical economic thinking. The use of brain imaging enables sharper testing of the implications of different models of decision-making including Chew and Sagi's (2008) axiomatization of source preference.

Methodology/approach – Using fMRI, brain activations were observed when subjects make 48 sequential binary choices among even-chance lotteries based on whether the trailing digits of a number of stock prices at market closing would be odd or even. Subsequently, subjects rate familiarity of the stock symbols.

Findings – When contrasting brain activation from more familiar sources with those from less familiar ones, regions appearing to be more active include the putamen, medial frontal cortex, and superior temporal gyrus. ROI analysis showed that the activation patterns in the familiar–unfamiliar and unfamiliar–familiar contrasts are similar to those in the risk–ambiguity and ambiguity–risk contrasts reported by Hsu et al. (2005). This supports the conjecture that the risk-ambiguity distinction can be subsumed by the source preference hypothesis.

Research limitations/implications – Our odd–even design has the advantage of inducing the same “unambiguous” probability of half for each subject in each binary comparison. Our finding supports the implications of the Chew–Sagi model and rejects models based on global probabilistic sophistication, including rank-dependent models derived from non-additive probabilities, e.g., Choquet expected utility and cumulative prospect theory, as well as those based on multiple priors, e.g., α-maxmin. The finding in Hsu et al. (2005) that orbitofrontal cortex lesion patients display neither ambiguity aversion nor risk aversion offers further support to the Chew–Sagi model. Our finding also supports the Levy et al. (2007) contention of a single valuation system encompassing risk and ambiguity aversion.

Originality/value of chapter – This is the first neuroimaging study of the source preference hypothesis using a design which can discriminate among decision models ranging from risk-based ones to those relying on multiple priors.

Details

Neuroeconomics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-304-0

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Divya Aggarwal, Uday Damodaran, Pitabas Mohanty and D. Israel

This study examines individual ambiguity attitudes alone and in groups by leveraging the descriptive model of anchoring and adjustment on decision-making under ambiguity

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines individual ambiguity attitudes alone and in groups by leveraging the descriptive model of anchoring and adjustment on decision-making under ambiguity. The study extends Ellsberg's probability ambiguity to outcome ambiguity and examines decisions made under both ambiguities, at different likelihood levels and under the domain of gains and losses.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology selected for this study is a two-stage within-subject lab experiment, with participants from different Indian universities. Each participant made 12 lottery decisions at the individual level and at individuals in the group level.

Findings

The results show that ambiguity attitudes are not universal in nature. Ambiguity seeking as a dominant choice was observed at both the individual level and at individual in the group level. However, the magnitude of ambiguity seeking or ambiguity aversion contingent upon the domain of gains and losses differed widely across the individual level and at individuals in the group level.

Research limitations/implications

The study enables to contribute toward giving a robust descriptive explanation for individual behavior in real-world applications of finance. It aims to provide direction for theoretical normative models to accommodate heterogeneity of ambiguity attitudes.

Originality/value

The study is novel as it examines a two-dimensional approach by representing ambiguity in probability and in outcomes. It also analyzes whether decisions under ambiguity vary when individuals make decisions alone and when they make it in groups.

Details

Review of Behavioral Finance, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1940-5979

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 8 December 2020

Cori Ann McKenzie and Geoff Bender

This paper encourages teachers and scholars of English Language Arts to engage deliberately with literary ambiguity.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper encourages teachers and scholars of English Language Arts to engage deliberately with literary ambiguity.

Design/methodology/approach

Through close attention to ambiguous moments in commonly taught texts, the essay argues that explicit attention to ambiguity can support four enduring goals in the field: fostering social justice, developing students’ personal growth, cultivating dispositions and skills for democracy and engendering disciplinary literacy skills.

Findings

The readings suggest the following: first, wrestling with ambiguities in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird may foster critical orientations needed in the fight for social justice; second, ambiguities in Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese may support students’ personal development; third, questions generated by Walter Dean Myers’ Monster invite readers to practice skills needed for democracy; finally, exploring divergent interpretations of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak may develop students’ disciplinary literacy skills.

Originality/value

In an era marked by standardization and accountability, it may be difficult for teachers and scholars to linger with literary ambiguity. By underscoring the instrumental potential of literary ambiguity, the essay illustrates why and how teachers might reject this status quo and embrace the indeterminacy of literary ambiguity.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 10 December 2020

Satyanarayana Parayitam, Syed Aktharsha Usman, Rajeshwaran Raja Namasivaayam and Mohamed Shaik Naina

This paper aims to investigate the importance of knowledge management as a moderator in the relationship between two of the burnout variables, namely, role ambiguity and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the importance of knowledge management as a moderator in the relationship between two of the burnout variables, namely, role ambiguity and work overload. In addition, the paper tests a conceptual model where emotional exhaustion is a moderator in the relationship between role ambiguity, work overload and performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a structured survey instrument, this paper gathered data from 692 respondents from the information technology industry in the southern part of India. The first psychometric properties of the instrument were tested and then hierarchical regression was used as a statistical technique for analyzing the data.

Findings

Results show that role conflict is positively related to role ambiguity and work overload, role ambiguity is negatively related to performance, work overload is positively related to performance, knowledge management moderates the relationship between role conflict and role ambiguity and role conflict and work overload. The hierarchical regression results also support that emotional exhaustion moderates the relationship between role ambiguity and performance and work overload and performance.

Research limitations/implications

As the present research is based on self-report measures, the limitations of social desirability bias and common method bias are inherent. However, this study attempts to minimize these limitations by following appropriate statistical techniques and procedures.

Practical implications

This study contributes to both practicing managers and the literature on conflict management. The study suggests that managers use knowledge management practices to mitigate the ill-effects of role conflict and enhance performance. This study also highlights the role of emotional exhaustion in organizations.

Originality/value

This study provides new insights about the importance of knowledge management practices and emotional exhaustion in the relationship between role conflict and performance. To the knowledge, the importance of knowledge management practices is underemphasized in conflict management research. The study also provides insights into the role of one of the burnout variables i.e. emotional exhaustion in its influence on performance. The implications of this relationship for organizational role theory and organizational learning theory and for management practice, are discussed.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 10 February 2021

Joanne Meehan and Bruce D. Pinnington

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether firms' transparency in supply chain (TISC) statements indicate that substantive action is being taken on modern slavery in…

Downloads
1209

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether firms' transparency in supply chain (TISC) statements indicate that substantive action is being taken on modern slavery in UK government supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyse 66 of the UK government's strategic suppliers' TISC statements and 20 key documents related to the policy intent of the UK Parliament, 2015 TISC requirements. Qualitative document analysis identifies what suppliers say they are doing and what they are not saying to provide novel insights into how firms employ ambiguity to avoid timely action on modern slavery in their supply chains A set of propositions are developed.

Findings

The authors elaborate the concepts of time and change in socially sustainable supply chains and illustrate how firms use ambiguity in TISC statements as a highly strategic form of action to defend the status quo, reduce accountability and delay action for modern slavery within supply chains. The authors identify three ambiguous techniques: defensive reassurance, transfer responsibility and scope reduction that deviate from the policy intention of collaborative action.

Social implications

The results illustrates how ambiguity is preventing firms from taking collaborative action to tackle modern slavery in their supply chains. The lack of action as a result of ambiguity protects firms, rather than potential victims of modern slavery.

Originality/value

Prior research focuses on technical compliance rather than the content of firms' TISC statements. This qualitative study provides novel insights into the policy-resistant effects of ambiguity and highlights the dynamic and instrumental role of modern slavery reporting. Theoretically, we identify accountability as an essential concept to address the causes of modern slavery in supply chains and for developing collaborative supply chain environments to tackle the issues.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 23 July 2020

Bryan Foltice and Rachel Rogers

This paper evaluates potential methods for reducing ambiguity surrounding returns on equity to improve long-term savings decisions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper evaluates potential methods for reducing ambiguity surrounding returns on equity to improve long-term savings decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

We evaluate 221 undergraduate students in the US and first assess the degree of ambiguity aversion exhibited by individuals in the sample population as they decide between a risky (known probability) option and ambiguous (unknown probability) option pertaining to their chances of winning $0 or $1 in a hypothetical lottery. Similarly, we test whether sampling historical return data through learning modules influences long-term decision making regarding asset allocation within a retirement portfolio.

Findings

Allowing participants to experience the underlying probability through sampling significantly influences behavior, as participants were more likely to select the ambiguous option after sampling. Here, we also find that participants who receive interactive learning modules – which require users to manually alter the asset allocation to produce a sample of historical return data based on the specific allocation entered in the model – increase their post-learning equity allocations by 10.1% more than individuals receiving static modules. Interestingly, we find no significant evidence of ambiguity aversion playing a role in the asset allocation decision.

Originality/value

We find that decision-making related to ambiguous and risky options can be substantially influenced by experiential learning. Our study supplements previous literature, providing a link between research on the effect of ambiguity on stock market participation and implementation of educational programs to improve the asset allocation decision for young adults.

Details

Review of Behavioral Finance, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1940-5979

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 29000