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Uncertainty Management’s Impact on Job Satisfaction and Innovation


  • Michael LANE

    () (Foresight Consulting Ltd., Baise City, Guangxi Province, PRC)

  • Mihai BOCARNEA

    () (Regent University, School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Virginia Beach, USA)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between person-organization uncertainty management (UM) fit, and two outcomes in an innovative workplace: job satisfaction and innovation. Design/methodology/approach – This study analyzes data gathered through self-report questionnaires from a government-funded engineering research organization. Complementary fit variables were constructed using a median split method, and complementarity was examined by using separate ANCOVAs to compare person-organization fit dissimilarity and person-organization fit similarity. Findings –The study affirmed that followers, even uncertainty averse ones, feel more satisfaction when they perceive their organizations embrace uncertainty. The investigation also found positive effects of high personal UM on innovation and no significant effects for organization UM on innovation. Enhanced organizational innovation was best accounted for by high person UM cooperating in complementary fashion with both high and low UM within the organization. Implications— Even handed organizational efforts to supply support to both sides of this emotionally difficult but beneficial interaction is a key ingredient to enhancing satisfaction in innovative efforts. Organizations may enhance innovation by selecting those creative people who can work in complementary fashion with both high and low UM sides of the organization. Originality / Value—This study is the first outside replication of the UM–job satisfaction studies conducted by the Clampitt and Williams (2005) using their Working Climate Survey. Extending this thread, the investigation explored the effects of person-organization UM fit on innovation. The study provided useful information about the role of UM complementarity in the innovative workplace.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael LANE & Mihai BOCARNEA, 2011. "Uncertainty Management’s Impact on Job Satisfaction and Innovation," REVISTA DE MANAGEMENT COMPARAT INTERNATIONAL/REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE MANAGEMENT, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 12(1), pages 97-111, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:rom:rmcimn:v:12:y:2011:i:1:p:97-111

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholson,Nigel & West,Michael, 1988. "Managerial Job Change," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521357449, May.
    2. Kahn, Barbara E & Sarin, Rakesh K, 1988. " Modeling Ambiguity in Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 265-272, September.
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    More about this item


    uncertainty management; innovation; job satisfaction; fit complementarity.;

    JEL classification:

    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation


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