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Ambiguity tolerance and accurate assessment of self-efficacy in a complex decision task

  • Megan L Endres (a1), Sanjib Chowdhury (a1) and Morgan Milner (a1)

Organizational decision making requires the ability to process ambiguous information while dealing with overload and conflicting requirements. Although researchers agree that ambiguity tolerance is a critical skill for making high-quality complex decisions, few have investigated the effects of ambiguity tolerance on self-efficacy to make complex decisions. In the current experiment, 151 participants were randomly assigned to either a moderate complexity or high complexity decision task. Ambiguity tolerance moderated the relationships between task complexity and self-efficacy, and between task complexity and the accuracy of self-efficacy in predicting future performance. In the highly complex task, individuals with a higher tolerance for ambiguity reported higher self-efficacy and more accurate self-efficacy versus individuals with lower tolerance for ambiguity. In the moderately complex task, tolerance for ambiguity had no effects on self-efficacy or accuracy. Implications for research and practice are presented, along with study limitations.

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Journal of Management & Organization
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