Role Ambiguity

Role Ambiguity - ROLE AMBIGUITY 1 Role Ambiguity in...

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ROLE AMBIGUITY 1 Role Ambiguity in Organizational Settings Terrance McKnight Teachers College – Columbia University
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ROLE AMBIGUITY 2 Role Ambiguity in Organizational Settings Ambiguity in any form is stressful; hence the apprehension that many of the participants of the group relations conference had earlier in the semester, due to not knowing what the explicit tasks and goals of the conference were. Most individuals cannot function well in a shroud of uncertainty; both role and task ambiguity are very unsettling. This is in the context of role being defined as a function or position; the caveat is that this role is defined and shaped by Role ambiguity, defined as unclear expectations about the behaviors to be performed by individuals who occupy certain positions within the group (Levi, 2007), is an issue in groups that wish to function a team. This is because any team is a group of interdependent individuals. If an individual does not know his/her role in the team, it will affect its overall performance. In organizational settings, this ambiguity is often a function of not understanding what one’s task is; task behaviors typically dominate in work groups (Levi, 2007). A person that does not understand his/her task will tend to underperform; this often has an effect on other’s performance, which affects the entire group. Unity amongst the group is also affected, as cohesion based on commitment to the task has a larger impact than cohesion based on group attraction or social identity (Levi, 2007). High stress levels, decreased satisfaction and morale, increased job turnover, decreased
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2011 for the course ORL 1000 taught by Professor Buontempo during the Spring '11 term at Columbia.

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Role Ambiguity - ROLE AMBIGUITY 1 Role Ambiguity in...

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