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Title:The influence of organizational level and ambiguity on evaluative criteria utilized during organizational consolidation
Author(s):Finn, Paula Sheehan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Terwilliger, Edith R.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Educational Psychology
Abstract:The study was focused on evaluative criteria utilized at four organizational levels within two consolidating organizations. Sources of ambiguity present in the decision making process were delineated, the influence of ambiguity on the evaluative criteria was analyzed, and current assessments of organizational participants were examined. The research method was a case study that utilized written documents and interviews with organizational participants. A content analysis of these documents was conducted to discern evaluative criteria and sources of ambiguity. The data were then analyzed to determine if ambiguity influenced the criteria adopted during the consolidation process.
Findings indicated that evaluative criteria employed at all levels included need, organizational mission, merit, and resources. Sources of ambiguity that emerged during the process included differing value orientations, lack of time and attention, the nature of the problem, problematical information, and symbols and metaphors. Evaluative criteria and sources of ambiguity spanned both organizations and all four levels and varied in interpretation by level. At all four levels, ambiguity influenced evaluative criteria in the sense that, as ambiguity increased, criteria tended to become less specific and more general. The broadening of the criteria permitted the utilization of the criteria by more organizational participants.
Conclusions included that during periods of increasing uncertainty, informal networks and core groups are significant in decision making processes, participants who are intolerant of ambiguity may become immobilized, and participants who tolerate ambiguity can influence decision making processes. Implications for research, organizations, and leaders were included. Recommendations included further research on the influence of ambiguity on evaluative criteria, the influence of time on organizational decision making, and the influence of key relationships among decision makers on decision making processes and outcomes.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Finn, Paula Sheehan
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9136592
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9136592

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