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Environmental uncertainty

Read this article where we discuss the five continuums of environmental uncertainty.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0 Images by Getty Images

Environmental uncertainty refers to, ‘the degree to which future states of the world cannot be anticipated and accurately predicted’ (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978).

Environmental uncertainty is problematic to an organisation only when it impacts a critical aspect of its performance, and it increases or decreases as environments vary along five basic continuums:

Homogeneity-heterogeneity The number and diversity of groups that influence the organisation
Concentration-dispersion The degree of interconnection among components of the environment
Stability-turbulence The rate and magnitude of change in the environment
Resource scarcity-resource munificence Abundance and availability of resources
Hostility-supportiveness Extent of competition and level of acceptance of the organisation

Your task

Can you think of any alternative phrases to describe these five basic continuums?
If so, please share your ideas with your peers in the comments section.


Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. R. (1978). The external control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. Harper & Row.

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0 Images by Getty Images
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