Ambiguity in Communication

Ambiguityin Communication

Ambiguityin Communication

ThesisStatements:Strategic ambiguity acts as a pillar for any organization’scommunication in achieving its goals and mission.

Ambiguityis an attribute of any idea, statement, concept whose meaning,interpretations and intentions cannot be resolved as per the processor rules that consist of a number of steps. Scholars tend to contrastambiguity and vagueness. However, in ambiguity distinctinterpretations are more of permitted whilst vague informationconsists of difficulties in interpretation at any desired level.Strategic Ambiguity has various relevant functions in anorganization. They are specifically four strategic ambiguities thatinclude promotion of unified diversity, fostering deniability,facilitating organizations change, and preservation of privilegedpositions.

Ambiguityin communication in an organization

Theauthor’s current organization experiences ambiguity incommunications. The organization entails communications that areunclear and more of ambiguous. Scholars reveal that clarity isdesirable in communication. However, ambiguity at some point provesto be more efficient in different organizational circumstances.Eisenberg (1984) defines the term strategic ambiguity as thoseinstances whereby individuals prefer using ambiguity purposely toachieve their goals. In addition, strategic ambiguity can beprimarily useful in promoting unified diversity in an organization.

Theauthor’s organization mission and goals are intentionallyambiguous. The organization allows the divergent interpretations incoexistence and more of allowing efficient and diverse workingtogether of groups. Similarly, it uses abstraction as its pillar atwhich agreement can occur. The elements tend to preserve theplurality of the voices in an organizational context. The strategicambiguity also has more significance to the organization. Itfacilitates solving of difficult issues, resolving conflicts andimproving the interpersonal relations. Eisenberg (1984) posits thatstrategic ambiguity enhances communicator’s credibility towardsother organizational communicators. Scholars also reveal that amessage with disconfirming clarity attaches a meaning to the receiverwith aspects of attitude and message assimilations. They furthercompare strategic ambiguity to a kind of insurance to the crediblyperceived people.

Thestrategic ambiguity tends to portray deniability in an organization.The characteristic is useful in preservation of future options(Eisenberg, 1984). The organization with the strategy allows itspeople to save face, testing reactions, delaying conflicts, andavoiding personal responsibilities.


Eisenberg,Monge, P. R. &amp Farace (1984), tend to raise concern over thestrategic use of ambiguity. They argue that the ambiguity minimizesthe relevance of ethics. Strategic ambiguity can be a utility forescaping blames and may limit the usefulness of ethicalcommunications in an organization. Strategic ambiguity emphasizes ongoal attainments rather than in the expense of ethics. Thecommunication tends to leverage on the vagueness of inherentlanguage. Similarly, it considers the values of various strategicambiguities, which is on warranty. Strategic ambiguity seems tocreate beneficial outcomes for both receiver and sender inorganization.

However,the deniability of communication tend to allow senders to avoid evadetheir responsibilities in communication. For instance, the sendersare held responsible of any perceived communication effectiveness andare more of at greater risks than receivers are. Therefore, theethics in communication faces violations.

Organizationmanagers mostly prefer the use of openness as a clear method ofcommunication. They more of adopt the system when a disagreement thatseems substantive occurs. However, the concept always leads to makingthings worse and is not advisable. Organizations at different levelsensure their members gain from a strategic ambiguity (Eisenberg,1984). The ambiguity has more benefits than its downfalls. Due tothis, more managers take risks in adopting it to achieve theirdesired goals and missions.


Eisenberg,E. M. (1984). Ambiguity as strategy in organizational communication. CommunicationMonographs,51,227–242.

Eisenberg,E.M., Monge, P. R., &amp Farace, R .V. (1984). Co orientation oncommunication rules in managerial dyads.Human Communication Research,11,261-271