ERIC Number: ED383015
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-May-28
Reference Count: N/A
The Ethics of Strategic Ambiguity: Contrasting Teleologically and Deontologically Based Experiences.
Paul, Jim; And Others
This paper describes ethical considerations in the use of strategic ambiguity in organizational communication. Ambiguity is defined as "experienced ambiguity" and is distinct from uncertainty and equivocality which are properties of a stimulus. Strategic ambiguity is the use of "calculated ambiguity" in organizations to achieve objectives. Analysis of field data gathered in a division of a Fortune 100 company supports the proposition that teleological assumptions often underlie the use of strategic ambiguity in organizations. Classroom experience with the use of strategic ambiguity suggests that the use of strategic ambiguity in a deontological framework requires that senders' intentions, the effect of the message on receivers, and alternative communication strategies all be considered. In conclusion, strategic ambiguity is a valuable communication strategy in organizations that requires explicit consideration of ethics when used in a deontological framework. As future research on communications in organizational environments improves understanding of ambiguity, the information should be used in the classroom. (Contains 17 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Behavior; Communication Strategies; Rhetorical Strategies
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (45th, Albuquerque, NM, May 25-29, 1995).