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TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii
LIST OF TABLES viii
LIST OF FIGURES x
Chapter Page
1 INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Background to the Problem 1
1.2 Purpose of the Study 3
1.3 The Nature of Environmental
Scanning 7
1.4 The Canadian
Telecommunications Industry 11
1.5 Significance of the Study 14
2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 17
2.1 Organizations and Environments
17
Environment as source of information
17
Environment as source of resources
20
Environment as source of variation 22
Summary 23
2.2 Organizational Information
Processing 23
Organizations as information
processing systems 23
Organizations as decision making
systems 25
Organizations as interpretation
systems 26
Summary 27
2.3 Information Needs and Uses 28
Engineers and scientists as
information users 28
Social scientists as information users
32
Summary 34
2.4 Managers as Information Users 37
Managerial roles 37
Information acquisition and use by
managers 39
Summary 46
5
2.5 Research on Environmental
Scanning 46
Early studies 46
Recent research 51
Summary 60
2.6 Synthesis of Principal Findings and
Variables 64
3 METHODOLOGY 69
3.1 Conceptual Framework 69
3.2 Research Hypotheses 71
3.3 Definition and Measurement of
Variables 78
Environmental sectors 79
Perceived Environmental Uncertainty
80
Information sources 82
Perceived Source Accessibility 83
Perceived Source Quality 85
Amount of Scanning 87
Use of sources in scanning and
decision making 89
Use of environmental information in
decision making 90
Validity and reliability 92
3.4 Study Population 95
3.5 Data Collection Methods 98
Rationale 98
Preliminary consultations 100
Survey methodology 101
Pilot survey 103
Main survey 104
Interview methodology 106
Social desirability bias 111
3.6 Analysis of Data from Mail
Questionnaire 111
Descriptive statistics 111
Hypotheses testing 113
3.7 Analysis of Data from Personal
Interviews 116
6
4 RESULTS OF MAIL
QUESTIONNAIRE 119
4.1 Profile of Questionnaire
Respondents 120
Representativeness of the
questionnaire respondents 122
Number of questionnaire respondents
123
4.2 Perception of Environmental
Sectors 125
4.3 Perceived Strategic Uncertainty
and Amount of Scanning 127
Testing of Hypothesis 1 130
Influence of firm size 132
4.4 Perception of Information Sources
133
Perceived Source Accessibility 133
Perceived Source Quality 137
4.5 Use of Information Sources in
Scanning 141
4.6 Influence of Environmental and
Source Characteristics on
Source Usage in Scanning 144
Testing of Hypothesis 2 145
Testing of Hypothesis 3 145
Testing of Hypothesis 4 146
Testing of Hypothesis 5 149
4.7 Use of Information from Sources in
Decision Making 153
4.8 Influence of Environmental and
Source Characteristics on
Usage of Information from Sources in
Decision Making 155
Testing of Hypothesis 6 155
Testing of Hypothesis 7 156
Testing of Hypothesis 8 157
Testing of Hypothesis 9 160
Checking for multicollinearity 164
4.9 Use of Environmental Information
in Decision Making 166
Testing of Hypothesis 10 168
Testing of Hypothesis 11 169
4.10 Summary of Mail Questionnaire
Results 171
7
5 RESULTS OF PERSONAL
INTERVIEWS 176
5.1 Purpose of Interviews 176
5.2 Profile of Interview Respondents
177
5.3 Scanning Behaviours and Critical
Incidents 179
Supplier of financial information and
networks 180
Cable television operator/paging
company 182
Data communications equipment
supplier 185
Network analysis and testing products
manufacturer 188
Telecommunications components
manufacturer 190
Long distance telecommunications
reseller 192
Switching equipment manufacturer 195
Data network services vendor 200
5.4 Analysis of Critical Incidents 203
5.5 Relative Importance of
Accessibility and Quality 210
5.6 Role and Use of the Company
Library 214
5.7 Use of Online Databases 219
5.8 Summary of Personal Interviews
222
6 DISCUSSION OF RESULTS 229
6.1 Perception of Environmental
Sectors 230
6.2 Influence of Perceived Strategic
Uncertainty on
Amount of Scanning 231
6.3 Use of Personal Sources 233
6.4 Use of Impersonal Sources 235
6.5 Use of Internal and External
Sources 239
Informational boundary spanning 239
Uncertainty absorption 240
6.6 Influence of Perceived Source
Characteristics on Source Use 242
Perceived Source Quality and decision
making 242
Perceived Source Quality and
environmental scanning 244
6.7 Influence of Perceived
Environmental Uncertainty 254
6.8 Use of Environmental Information
in Decisional Roles 256
6.9 Summary of Discussion 259
8
7 CONCLUSION 262
7.1 Highlights of the Study 262
7.2 Implications for Management 264
7.3 Implications for Library and
Information Science 269
7.4 Implications for Executive
Information Systems 274
7.5 Limitations of Present Study 277
7.6 Recommendations for Further
Research 279
7.7 Conclusion 281
REFERENCES 284