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California State University, Long Beach
Psychology
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Molly Davis, MA

PSYCHOLOGY MASTER’S THESIS ABSTRACT
Industrial/Organizational
May 1993

The Relationship Between Tolerance of Ambiguity, Leadership Styles, and Job Satisfaction

Much controversy has existed about which leadership style is most effective for low structured jobs. It was hypothesized that for employees with low structured jobs, the higher their tolerance of ambiguity, and the more transformational they reported their supervisors leadership styles, the higher their job satisfaction would be. However, the hypothesis was not supported.
Subjects included 55 Los Angeles County Health Department workers. They filled out four separate questionnaires, a personal history, a tolerance of ambiguity measure, a manager’s leadership style measure, and a job satisfaction questionnaire. A regression analysis was used to determine whether tolerance for ambiguity and leadership style had a significant effect on job satisfaction.
Conflicting results between this study and previous research show that previous research results may not be generalizable to all organizational settings and environments. Contradictions in this study show there is still work to be done in analyzing manager-subordinate relationships and job satisfaction.