Five out of our seven direct-effect hypotheses were supported. We found empirical support at the organizational level for the idea that opportunity/threat frames explain significant variability in risk perception and significant variability in a risky, consequential organizational decision. Similarly, inertia, risk propensity and perceived risk explained significant variability in the same consequential risky decision. We were encouraged to find that the majority of the predicted relationships held up using an objective measure of risky decision making.

Support also was found for the prediction that risk propensity partially mediates the effects of inertia on risky decision making. In addition, our prediction that risk perception partially mediates the effects of problem framing on risky decision making revealed that risk perception acted as a suppressor, revealing an interesting dynamic related to how problem framing and risk perception may work together to impact risky decision making.

The primary intent of this analysis was to provide an organizational level field test of a portion of Sitkin and Pablo's model (1992). Overall, our analyses suggest that a variation of Sitkin and Pablo's model can be extended to the organizational level of analysis and strongly support the inclusion of risk perception and risk propensity in models of risky decision making behavior in order to improve our understanding of the mechanisms through which antecedent predictors operate. However, the issue of whether risk perception and risk propensity act as full or partial mediators of the effects of problem framing, inertia and other antecedent predictors on risky decision making remains an empirical question.


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