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The Ambiguity of Job Roles

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The ambiguity of role refers to the situation that the person lives when he doesn't have enough reference points to perform his work or they are not adequate. In short, it has inadequate information to get a clear idea of ​​the role assigned to it, either because it's incomplete, or because it's interpretable in several ways or because it's very changing. Such information should be about the purpose and objectives of their work, their authority and responsibilities, their style of relationship and communication with others, etc .

Possible role problems

The ambiguity of the role at work is an important source of stress for workers. It has been linked to increased tension and discontent at work, low self-esteem, anxiety and some somatic symptoms of depression. The intention to leave work, as well as the increase in pulse and blood pressure, have also been related to role ambiguity.

The interested party intervenes in the role configuration. He has an image of his role, of the attitudes, opinions and behaviors that he considers relevant to the position he occupies and that would enable his performance. The contributions of this image to the role configuration impregnate it with certain characteristics or features of the actor's own personality (it would be said that they "personalize" the role). The consequences of these contributions can be favorable or not, both for those who have to play the role and for those who play related roles.

Suppose that the lack of information in some facets of one's role and the lack of initial reference points are attempted to be supplied by the contribution of attitudes and behaviors drawn from personal style and the set of own values. Once tested in the role system in which you're immersed, these behaviors can be accepted and reinforced or rejected and rejected in the most diverse ways (from full and explicit acceptance, to a frontal conflict with other system roles) .

If the behaviors and attitudes that the interested party contributes were accepted, an important step towards the configuration of the role itself and towards the elimination of ambiguity points in it would have been advanced. This is the positive side of an incomplete definition of the role, as it leaves room for the person who plays it to just define it by printing characteristics of their own personal style.

For example, when it's not clear what kind of relationship (subordinate, equal, etc.) should be maintained with other people from hierarchically superior positions and from departments other than one's own, one could try to structure them according to their personal style. If this is usually dealing with others in terms of equality, it may be that when you communicate with these people do so in these terms and depending on the reaction you perceive in your acceptance or rejection partner, you'll maintain or modify, respectively, your style Communication. It may also happen that it's your interlocutor who modifies the communication style but, in any case, an unknown part of your role will be cleared, which is, in this example, the type of relationship-communication that is maintained with other positions in the communication system. roles in which it acts.

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