Studies which assess the relationship between scanning behavior (SB) and strategic uncertainty (SU) have shown mixed results. The lack of consistency in measurement constructs and differences in underlying assumptions for SU may explain these empirical inconsistencies. Earlier studies have adopted measurement constructs which ignore the interaction effect between the two dimensions of SU – variability and complexity. Our study suggests adopting new measurement constructs for SU that sort uncertainty into four distinct categories based on the interaction of the two environmental constructs, variability and complexity, as drawn from categorizations originally proposed by Duncan. This new measurement approach will provide a means to generate consistent results in research on the relationship between SB and SU. We provide a practical example using the strategic environment in the health care industry to illustrate for managers a more precise way to assess their external environment.
Management Decision – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 1, 2004
Keywords: Uncertainty management; Strategic planning
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