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What is Meant by Role Conflict

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It has been shown that role conflict is related to dissatisfaction, decreased involvement with work and deterioration of performance. Among industrial workers subjected to some conflict of roles, there has been a greater tension to cause him work, less satisfaction with him and less confidence in the organization.

The situation of role conflict can originate in various ways. It's understood that a person will suffer a conflict of roles if they perceive that one or more people or groups of the organization, with whom they are linked (within a role system), have divergent expectations about what to do and / or how to conduct themselves, which are incompatible or inconsistent with each other or with the performance of the work.

For example, an intermediate manager may experience a situation of role conflict when he is subject to divergent demands by his managers (strict compliance with the objectives and deadlines set) and by his subordinates (elasticity in terms, which are not pressured , etc.). A seller may find incompatible the expectations of conduct that he perceives among his clients (professional attention and advice, regardless of whether or not a commercial deal materializes) and his suppliers (prioritization of commercial dealings over purely orientative and advisory attention, which are reserved only for the best customers). A person who occupies a position in the production line can receive incompatible demands from each other, for example,

Sometimes, the legitimate requirements that are received from different positions of the same system or network of roles are impossible to meet within the time frame available and the person is in the position to prioritize without having an adequate criterion in the Than lean for it. This can be experienced as a conflict situation. The person may have trouble organizing hierarchically the legitimate demands that arise or a dilemma between doing everything, to the detriment of quality, or doing what he can with the appropriate quality levels.

There may also be a situation that the person lives as a role conflict, when they perceive that the role they should play includes activities and behaviors that they don't want to do, either because they consider that they don't adjust to what they understand their role to be, or because consider them useless and without content, or because they go against their belief and value system. An example of the first case would be found in the person who is asked to deal with matters that are not related to the activity and objectives of the company, but to someone's personal issues and is convinced that this is not part of your labor obligations. An example of the second case would be the person who has to carry out activities that he considers empty, without any meaning.

In general, people seek to play roles congruent with their belief and value system. When it's not achieved, personal conflicts and situations that are experienced as a source of great tension for the person can arise, which supports them with a great emotional cost for having to go over their value system, since the change of work It's not easy given the labor market situation.

As already mentioned, the image that you have about your own role affects its configuration. This, which can be positive, can have dire consequences when the person insists on including as belonging to his role some feature of his personality or an attitude that is not accepted in the role system in which it's to function. For example, the person who, in a position of a pacifist and humanitarian aid organization, maintains pro-belligerent attitudes and behaviors, in accordance with its value system, to end the evils or problems of a sector of the population.

Another source of role conflict is found in the demands and expectations of behavior that are expected of the same person, in the different roles that he must or wants to reconcile in his life (for example, in the family and work environment) . People (usually women) who take care of the home, the family, and also work in paid positions, can live moments in which the different roles they play enter into a conflict situation; This is because they are very difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile for reasons of time of dedication and demands of each of them. It can be found that a person lives in a situation of "role overload" when the demands of the set of roles they play conflict with the time they have and, therefore, exceed their ability to respond, either due to the excessive number of tasks required or the nature of them. If an adjustment is not made, hierarchizing the different roles with some criteria, it can lead to an unsatisfactory situation, which is experienced as a conflict of roles.

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