Intrafirm causal ambiguity in an international context
Beleska-Spasova, E. and Glaister, K. W. (2013) Intrafirm causal ambiguity in an international context. International Business Review, 22 (1). pp. 32-46. ISSN 0969-5931
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2012.02.001
This paper examined the incidence of intrafirmcausalambiguity in the management's perception concerning the critical drivers of their firms’ performance. Building on insights from the resource-based view we developed and tested hypotheses that examine (1) linkage ambiguity as a discrepancy between perceived and measured resource–performance linkages, (2) characteristic ambiguity for resources and capabilities with a high degree of complexity and tacitness, and (3) the negative association between linkage ambiguity and performance. The observations based on the explicit perceptions of 356 surveyed managers were contrasted with the empirical findings of the resource/performance relationship derived by structural equation modelling from the same data sample. The findings validate the presence of linkage ambiguity particularly in the case of resources and capabilities with higher degree of characteristic ambiguity. The findings also provide empirical evidence in support of the advocacy for a negative relationship between intrafirmcausalambiguity and performance. The paper discusses the potential reasons for the disparities between empirical findings and management's perceptions of the key determinants of export success and makes recommendations for future research.