Article

The Relationship of Role Conflict and Ambiguity to Organizational Culture

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Abstract

the purpose of this chapter is to extend existing [role conflict] research by analyzing the relationship between role stress and organizational culture operationalized in terms of behavioral norms and expectations / propose that the cultures of many organizations create stress for workers by communicating expectations for behavior that are inconsistent with workers' preferences, are inherently oriented toward conflict, or are prescriptive and ambiguous the data for this study were collected from [825 managerial and nonmanagerial] employees of diverse organizations from the Organizational Culture Inventory [OCI] / the OCI measures organizational norms and expectations for 12 different behavior styles / these 12 styles are associated with 3 general types of organizational culture: constructive, passive–defensive, and aggressive–defensive / behavioral norms are hypothesized to be related to stress both indirectly (through role conflict and role ambiguity) and directly [i.e., the level of stress is positively related to norms associated with defensive cultures and negatively related to norms associated with constructive cultures] (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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... They also looked into how these activities factored into work-related stress. Role conflict and role ambiguity, constructs of occupational role stress, and their relationship to organizational culture were examined by van der Velde and Class (1995). These researchers proposed that many organizational cultures create stress by communicating expectations for behavior that are inconsistent with workers' expectations, oriented toward conflict, and/or are ambiguous and/or unclear. ...
... Role conflict was negatively related to a constructive environment style. Furthermore, it was found that role conflict and role ambiguity mitigate the effects of the organization's work culture on stress (van der Velde & Class, 1995). Results from this study suggest that employee's occupational stress can be explained by their experienced levels of role stress and role ambiguity. ...
... The results of the current study are supported by the findings of previously (Basset & Lloyd, 2001;Bradley & Sutherland, 1995;Cottrell, 2001;Hellgren & Sverke, 2001;Itzhaky, 1993;Lambert & Lambert, 2001;Ngai, 1993;Price & Hooijberg, 1992;Wilkerson & Bellini, 2006;Stamper & Johlke, 2003;Sutton & Fall,1995;van der Velde & Class, 1995). ...
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The isolation, perceived organizational support (POS), and occupational role stress of mental health practitioners in scholastic and related applied settings
... For example, perceived organizational support and trust, as cultural factors, moderate and mediate the effects of work stressors, such as role conflict and role ambiguity, on job related tension, job satisfaction and health status [1][2][3][4]. Alternatively, the positions of culture and employee roles in the causal sequence leading to stress can be reversed, suggesting that organizational culture defines roles and role problems [5]. Another type of hypothesis proposes a direct relationship between organizational culture and stress. ...
... The various aspects of workers' trust, as well as the organizational culture, have effects on work related stress and stress reaction [5][6][7][8][9][10]. The effects of trust on work related stress can be interpreted using different dimensions of trust. ...
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This study was conducted to investigate the effect of trust on work stress. Trust can be classified into three dimensions; social trust, institutional trust, and trust in others. The relationship between work stress and trust is regarded as having three components. First, trust has an influence on work stressors as an antecedent variable; secondly, trust modifies the effect of the various stressors, and finally, trust is one of the stressors. Data for this study was collected by interviews and self-administered structured questionnaires from 376 Korean and 77 Japanese workers in small businesses. Subjects were selected by two stage stratified random sampling from the working population of manufacturing industries. Three different positions of trust are significantly related with the stress causation web. Social trust, institutional trust and trust in others significantly influence different work stressors in both Korean and Japanese workers. Three different kinds of trust influence work stressors among Korean workers, but institutional trust has no impact on work stressors among Japanese workers. As a moderating variable for perceived stress, distrust in an employer is statistically significant in both groups. However, stress symptom prevalence among Korean workers is modified by caution, trust in career development, and distrust in co-workers, but that of Japanese workers is modified only by distrust in employer. Job satisfaction of Korean workers is affected by general trust, utility of relation, institutional trust and trust in employer, but among Japanese workers, caution, reputation and trust in employer have influence on job satisfaction. The effect of trust on work stress, perceived stress, stress reaction and job satisfaction are different among Korean workers and Japanese workers. Three dimensions of trust have three different positions as antecedent, moderating and mediating factors in stress causation.
... Certain types of organizational cultures, or certain styles of cultures have been associated with either positive or negative outcomes for both the effectiveness of the organization and for individual employees within the organization [30,31]. Positive outcomes for individuals might include motivation and satisfaction [13,32] while negative outcomes for individuals might include job insecurity and stress [33,34]. ...
... Similar relationships targeting the individual have been reported with respect to the relationship between culture and stress [34] and that between culture and member satisfaction [56,57,58,59]. Further insight into the impact of operating cultures on employees is provided by other studies that have incorporated the OCI instrument directly. ...
Conference Paper
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Traditionally, culture has been assessed by qualitative methods. However, quantitative approaches such as culture surveys offer important advantages for both cross-sectional organizational research and knowledge-based cultural change initiatives. The organizational culture inventory© (OCI), an instrument designed for such uses, profiles the culture of organizations and their sub-units in terms of behavioral norms and expectations. Following a review of seminal concepts relevant to organizational culture, this paper presents a framework depicting the relationship between culture and outcomes that are consistent with successful KM environments. An examination of the data provided by approximately 60,000 OCI respondents indicates that the inventory is a powerful indicator of outcomes, which are related to both individual and organizational criteria.
... Certain types of organizational cultures, or certain styles of cultures, have been associated with either positive or negative outcomes for either the effectiveness of the organization (as the introductory discussion of NASA and the American Airlines crash illustrate) or for individual employees within the organization (Schein, 1996;Deal and Kennedy, 1982). Positive outcomes for individual members of organizations potentially include motivation and satisfaction (Cooke andSzurnal, 1993, 2000;O'Reilly, 1989) while negative outcomes might include job insecurity and stress (Kahn et al., 1964;Kahn, 1966, van der Velde andClass, 1995). In this paper, we link organizational culture to measures of both individual and organizational outcomes. ...
... Similar patterns of relationships have been found between the OCI culture styles and individual outcomes, including stress (van der Velde and Class, 1995) and member satisfaction (McDaniel and Stumpf, 1995;Rousseau, 1990;Klein et al., 1995b). Further insight into the impact of operating cultures on employees is provided by other studies that have incorporated the OCI instrument. ...
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Purpose – This paper aims to describe how organizational culture is manifested in behavioral norms and expectations, focusing on 12 sets of behavioral norms associated with constructive, passive/defensive, and aggressive/defensive cultural styles. Design/methodology/approach – The organizational culture inventory, a normed and validated instrument designed to measure organizational culture in terms of behavioral norms and expectations, was used to test hypotheses regarding the impact of culture. Data are summarized from 60,900 respondents affiliated with various organizations that have used the instrument to assess their cultures. Also presented is a brief overview of a practitioner-led assessment of four state government departments. Findings – The results of correlational analyses illustrate the positive impact of constructive cultural styles, and the negative impact of dysfunctional defensive styles, on both the individual- and organizational-level performance drivers. The results clearly link the dysfunctional cultural styles to deficits in operating efficiency and effectiveness. Originality/value – The concept of organizational culture is derived from research in the field of organizational behavior characterized by use of qualitative methods. Yet, one of the most powerful strategies for organizational development is knowledge-based change, an approach that generally relies on the use of quantitative measures. Although both methods share the potential for producing cumulative bodies of information for assessment and theory testing, quantitative approaches may be more practical for purposes of knowledge-based approaches for organizational development generally, and assessing cultural prerequisites for organizational learning and knowledge management specifically.
... This indicates, for example, that work-related driver safety may be more closely tied to person-organisation fit than other more formal role-tied behaviours. Similarly, organisational culture and climate have been shown to be linked to workers' experiences of stress (Michela, Lukaszewski, & Allegrante, 1995; van der Velde & Class, 1995). Role conflict and ambiguity are recognised as common causes of stress in organisational settings and these are likely to impact upon work-related driver safety. ...
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Research into work-related driver safety in corporate vehicle fleets has provided some descriptive information about driving for work and some of the common approaches to fleet safety. However, a lack of theoretical underpinnings has constrained the scope of this research. This paper outlines some theories and conceptual approaches from organisational and industrial psychology which are applicable for researching work-related driving and designing fleet safety countermeasures. Approaches described relate to contextual performance, occupational stress, organisational culture and climate. In using these approaches, work-related driving is conceptualised as an organisational behaviour – a behaviour of employees which occurs in the organisational setting. These are consolidated into an integrated approach to fleet safety. In addition to enhancing the understanding of work-related driving, utilising this integrated approach will result in intervention strategies designed to target the key psychosocial and organisational factors involved.
... Research utilizing this framework and the culture survey has shown that constructive cultures are positively related to positive outcomes across industriesincluding quality in manufacturing organizations (Corbett and Rastrick, 2000), client outcomes in human service organizations (Glisson and James, 2002), and effective problem solving in nuclear power plants (Shurberg and Haber, 1992). Similarly, constructive cultures have been found to have a positive impact on organizational members, including trust in their supervisors and their organizations (Weidner, 1997), individual well-being (Van der Velde andClass, 1995), and motivation, job satisfaction and performance (Rousseau, 1990). Passive/defensive and aggressive/defensive cultures have been shown to be negatively related or, at best, unrelated to such outcomes (Cooke and Szumal, 2000;Williams, 2007). ...
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... They therefore must cope with the multiple expectations of a variety of stakeholders who communicate different role expectations (Gong, Shenkar, Luo, & Nyaw, 2001). Thus, it appears that the aggregated impact of the changes emanating from the transformation of VSO structures is likely to lead to role ambiguity, especially for senior management personnel (Amis, Slack, & Berrett, 1995;Van der Velde & Class, 1995). ...
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of role ambiguity experienced by the chairpersons and executive directors of Queensland State Sporting Organisations, specifically how role ambiguity was related to organisational design, satisfaction with organisational communication, and tenure. Data were collected by means of a mailed self-administered questionnaire from a sample of 118 paid executive directors and volunteer elected chairpersons. A response rate of 68% was obtained. The results indicated that there was no significant difference in the perception of role ambiguity by chairpersons and executive directors. However, role ambiguity was negatively related to organic organisational design, satisfaction with communication, and tenure. Yes Yes
... Sumrall and Sebastianelli (1999 stated that an individual with role ambiguity tends to feel being uncertainty about what actions to take to fulfill a role (Ussahawanitchakit, 2008, p.14). Researchers have concluded that organizations are likely to create role stress for individuals, when they fail to communicate well with their expectations to them (Velde andClass 1996, Burke, Borucki andHurley, 1992). ...
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... At the group or team level, both the strength and intensity of constructive norms have been shown to be positively relative to cooperation and teamwork [12]. Similarly, constructive cultures have been found to have a positive impact on organizational members, [18], individual well-being [19], and motivation, job satisfaction and performance [20,21,22]. Passive-defensive and aggressivedefensive cultures have been shown to be negatively related or, at best, unrelated to such outcomes [23,24]. ...
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