Uncertainty, flexibility and operational performance of companies: Modelling from the perspective of managers

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Revista de Administracao Mackenzie
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Silva A.A.
Ferreira F.C.M.
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© 2017 Mackenzie Presbyterian University. All rights reserved.Purpose: The purpose of this study is to propose a model to estimate how uncertainty, flexibility, and operational performance are related. The assumption is that competition in the current business environment has been broadening consumers' options. These options have brought uncertainty to companies regarding the adoption of operational strategies, particularly to adjustment of flexibility to their competitive priorities. Originality/value: The research designed a theoretical model that presents convergent, discriminant validity, and good reliability. Therefore, it is possible to estimate the perceived uncertainty, flexibility, and operational performance from a set of evaluated companies. Design/methodology/approach: Data was collected out of managers and analysts from the financial, energy, and manufacturing sectors. The uncertainty was estimated by taking into account the state, the effect, and the choice of responses from changes in business environment. In addition, it was considered the flexibility and the performance within the operational indicators. Findings: The results reveal moderate managers' ability to predict the state of the environment and its effects on their organization's activities. Also they show that uncertainty does not influence the operational performance when mediated by flexibility. Thus, in a moderate environmental stability, flexibility can be adopted to mitigate the effects of uncertainty on operational performance.
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