Research Paper

Preventing the Onset of Change Resistance in an Organisational Context by Means of Increasing the Level of Ambiguity Tolerance

Author: Emanuela Pascari
Titu Maiorescu University, Bucharest, Romania


In an ever-changing world, it is essential to possess a set of abilities needed to easily adapt to the novelties around us. Literature on this topic abounds with textbooks for organisational survival during change. Change management has become, in a relatively short period of time, a reference discipline in Economy. The concept of ambiguity tolerance is, however, less popular. We have a tendency of being proud of how tolerant we are, without having a rich theoretical background to help us define what it exactly means to be tolerant.

Our paper aims to highlight the essential role played by ambiguity tolerance in this society, where there is a stringent need for organisations to adapt to the quick pace of changes occurring

We have therefore used an instrument meant to measure ambiguity tolerance and two instruments meant to measure the degree to which individuals are able to adapt to change; the data that we obtained from applying these instruments was used to prove a correlation between the two concepts, taking as a starting point the premise that, should there be a statistically proven link between ambiguity tolerance and adapting to organisational change, then by moderating one of the variables (i.e. ambiguity tolerance) we will be able to modify the other one as well. We could establish, by analysing the eight dimensions of the ambiguity tolerance concept, which were the areas where an intervention would be needed, in order to prevent the onset of resistance to change.

Keywords: ambiguity tolerance, generic change, organisational change, change management, adapting to change