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The strategic management of uncertainty


  • Collis, David


As the economic environment becomes increasingly uncertain, the ways firms minimize the risks of, and capitalize on the opportunities presented by that uncertainty become correspondingly important. This paper develops a strategic approach to the management of uncertainty which firms can use to achieve a desirable balance of risk and return. It identifies four generic approaches to uncertainty which differ in the pattern and timing of their resource commitments, and which firms can choose from to offset the exogenous uncertainty they face. The paper then suggests the conditions under which each approach might be appropriate, and describes the important managerial issues surrounding the different approaches. It thereby provides a way to integrate the treatment of uncertainty into strategy making at all levels of the organisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Collis, David, 1992. "The strategic management of uncertainty," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 125-135, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:10:y:1992:i:2:p:125-135

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tecleghiorgis, M.T., 2002. "Market-Oriented Policy Changes and Manufacturing Performance : The Case of Eritrea," Other publications TiSEM 03961170-d991-44b2-8a16-f, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Volker H. Hoffmann & Thomas Trautmann & Jens Hamprecht, 2009. "Regulatory Uncertainty: A Reason to Postpone Investments? Not Necessarily," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(7), pages 1227-1253, November.
    3. Christian Engau & Volker Hoffmann, 2011. "Corporate response strategies to regulatory uncertainty: evidence from uncertainty about post-Kyoto regulation," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 44(1), pages 53-80, March.

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