Examples of Causal Ambiguity

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Examples of Causal Ambiguity
Dhiraj Khatri, Student (MBA), Australia, Premium Member
Many are intimidated just by hearing the words 'causal ambiguity' thinking they might not understand the concept. Well, I tried my best to simplify it with 2 examples:

  • Let's say a husband really likes the dish which his wife cooks for him. He would want it once every week. Each time his wife cooks it for him it is perfect, every time up-to his standards and he enjoys it a lot.
  • When his wife goes abroad to see her mother for a month, she writes the recipe for him down and the she leaves. But every time he tries to cook it the meal is not perfect, rather sometimes it is spoilt.
  • Why then while he follows the same steps which his wife uses to cook the dish that his dish is not up-to the standards?
Well, this is a question of causal ambiguity.

In more strategic terms when we view an example of causal ambiguity in business, we see that businesses often fail when they try to replicate exactly what other successful organizations do. How is that possible?
  1. In the case of Resource-based View organizations, the explanation may be because these other companies developed certain CORE COMPETENCIES over the years.
  2. Some other organizations might have strong INTANGIBLE ASSETS like their brand.
  3. LEADERSHIP capabilities
  4. Corporate CULTURE
All of these are difficult to imitate. Sometimes it can also be 5. sheer BAD LUCK that causes organizations to fail.

⇒ Do you have other examples to explain the concept of causal ambiguity?

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