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Tolerance of ambiguity of service workers
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Tolerance of ambiguity of service workers

An explorative case study comparing management and IT consultants

25 Seiten · 4,63 EUR
(April 2013)

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The article relies on data that have been gathered in the context of consulting. We chose this research setting since it is (1) a prototype of knowledge-intensive service firms (KISFs) and meanwhile (2) gives access to diverse forms of knowledge work like management and IT consulting. Therewith, our study contributes to several strands of research. First, to our knowledge, this is one of the first studies that aims to analyse the individual ToA of service workers. By investigating a possible association between different scopes of actions of service work and ToA, this study allows us to transfer the conclusions to other working contexts of KISFs. Second, the scale that has been developed is tested (1) on reliability in general and (2) on respondents’ convenience in the service sector and can thus be used for future research on longitudinal access to the consulting sector and/or comparison with further fields of knowledge-intensive work.

The paper is structured as follows. In the first part, we introduce the concept of ambiguity. Thereafter, we give a short introduction to the discussion on ToA as a personal trait. The insights of both parts are brought forward to demonstrate its relevance to research on consulting as a prototype of KISFs. Subsequently, we describe our methods before presenting the results of our analysis. Finally, we discuss our findings and end with an outline of possible directions for future research.

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the authors
Dr. Stephanie Birkner
Stephanie Birkner

Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, studied business administration at the University of Applied Sciences Oldenburg/Ostfriesland/Wilhelmshaven. She is currently a research assistant and Ph.D. student at the University of Oldenburg. Her main areas of research are consulting and ambiguity.

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Jost Sieweke

1983, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Lehrstuhl für Business Consulting. 2003-2007 Studium der Sportwissenschaft und Wirtschaftswissenschaften an der Universität Oldenburg, seit 2007 Doktorand am Lehrstuhl für Business Consulting.

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