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How Employees and Organizations Manage Uncertainty: Norms, Implications, and Future Research

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Abstract:

Navigating the borderlands between certainty and uncertainty presents an enduring challenge to organizations and employees alike. The Uncertainty Management Matrix (UMM) juxtaposes the uncertainty management strategies of employees and organizations. The Working Climate Survey operationalizes the UMM concepts. This research project focused on analyzing the data gathered from over 1000 employees in a wide range of organizations who have completed the survey. The analyses revealed that organizations that embrace uncertainty tend to foster more employee commitment, greater job satisfaction, and less cynicism than those that avoid or suppress uncertainty. Employees in uncertainty-embracing organizations are better able to cope with change than their counterparts in uncertainty-suppressing organizations. This pattern emerged regardless of how employees rated their own uncertainty management skills. The analyses also indicated that communication practices and protocols play an important role in cultivating uncertainty-embracing organizational climates. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these and other findings.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

uncertainti (148), organ (119), climat (105), employe (86), manag (63), m (58), embrac (45), work (44), item (44), communic (41), 3 (35), dynam (31), p (29), 1 (28), organiz (28), chang (27), quo (26), person (26), status (26), unsettl (25), stifl (24),

Author's Keywords:

Uncertainty, Uncertainty Management Matrix, Communicating about Uncertainty
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Name: International Communication Association
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MLA Citation:

Williams, M.. and Clampitt, Phillip. "How Employees and Organizations Manage Uncertainty: Norms, Implications, and Future Research" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA, May 27, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112246_index.html>

APA Citation:

Williams, M. L. and Clampitt, P. G. , 2003-05-27 "How Employees and Organizations Manage Uncertainty: Norms, Implications, and Future Research" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Marriott Hotel, San Diego, CA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p112246_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Navigating the borderlands between certainty and uncertainty presents an enduring challenge to organizations and employees alike. The Uncertainty Management Matrix (UMM) juxtaposes the uncertainty management strategies of employees and organizations. The Working Climate Survey operationalizes the UMM concepts. This research project focused on analyzing the data gathered from over 1000 employees in a wide range of organizations who have completed the survey. The analyses revealed that organizations that embrace uncertainty tend to foster more employee commitment, greater job satisfaction, and less cynicism than those that avoid or suppress uncertainty. Employees in uncertainty-embracing organizations are better able to cope with change than their counterparts in uncertainty-suppressing organizations. This pattern emerged regardless of how employees rated their own uncertainty management skills. The analyses also indicated that communication practices and protocols play an important role in cultivating uncertainty-embracing organizational climates. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these and other findings.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 20
Word count: 6423
Text sample:
How Employees and Organizations Manage Uncertainty: Norms Implications and Future Research Paper presented at the International Communication Association Convention (Organizational Communication Division) San Diego CA May 2003. How Employees and Organizations Manage Uncertainty: Norms Implications and Future Research Abstract Navigating the borderlands between certainty and uncertainty presents an enduring challenge to organizations and employees alike. The Uncertainty Management Matrix (UMM) juxtaposes the uncertainty management strategies of employees and organizations. The Working Climate Survey operationalizes the UMM concepts. This research
R. D. (1992). Managing the unknowable: Strategic boundaries between order and chaos in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Veevers J. E & Gee E. M. (1986). Playing it safe: Accident mortality and gender roles. Sociological Focus 19 349-360. Walsh K. (1978). Neuropsychology. Edinburgh/London: Churchill Livingstone. Wanous J. (1980). Organizational entry: Recruitment selection and socialization of newcomers. Reading MA: Addison-Wesley. Williams M.L. & Goss B. (1975). Equivocation: Character insurance. Human Communication Theory 1 265-270. Wood J. (2003). Gendered lives (4th


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