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An Analysis of Employees’ Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes
Unformatted Document Text:  Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes 3 nature of the role change influences employee negotiation behaviors. We first review theory and research related to role negotiation, associated communicative behaviors, and role change contexts. The methods and results of the investigation are then reported, followed by a discussion of the finding’s implications for theory and application. Organizational Role Change Roles are socially constructed portrayals of the expected behaviors, responsibilities, and style associated with individuals’ positions (Jablin, 2001; Zurcher, 1983). Employee roles encompass jobs, “a set of task elements grouped together under one job title” (Ilgen & Hollenbeck, 1991, p. 319), as well as functions that serve individual, unit, and organizational needs. This composite of tasks and functions may be formally or informally specified and can be assessed by examining the stated expectations of role set members (Jablin, 2001; Katz, 1980). Roles are also associated with certain rights, duties, and privileges (Jablin, 2001), and their centrality to organizing personal and work routines and managing the complex dynamics of interpersonal relations leads Katz and Kahn (1978) to refer to roles as “at once the building block of social systems and the summation of the requirements with which the system confronts the individual members” (p. 186). When individuals enter an organization, they are given a position and primarily subject to others expectations about how the role should be performed (Jablin, 1982; Wanous, 1980). As new hires become more acclimated, they attempt to “individualize” (Jablin, 1982, p. 256) their role by modifying its components to meet their needs, desires, and abilities. Rather than generally accepting the role as dictated by the organization (i.e., role-taking; Katz & Kahn, 1978), employees partake in role-making (Graen, 1976; Graen & Scandura, 1987) and actively seek to modify elements of their job. As alluded to earlier, role change efforts are likely to occur throughout employees’ tenure in the organization (Jablin, 2001). More specific reasons for why individuals seek proactively to alter their roles and their

Authors: Callies, Letticia. and Miller, Vernon.
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Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes
3
nature of the role change influences employee negotiation behaviors. We first review theory and
research related to role negotiation, associated communicative behaviors, and role change contexts.
The methods and results of the investigation are then reported, followed by a discussion of the
finding’s implications for theory and application.
Organizational Role Change
Roles are socially constructed portrayals of the expected behaviors, responsibilities, and
style associated with individuals’ positions (Jablin, 2001; Zurcher, 1983). Employee roles
encompass jobs, “a set of task elements grouped together under one job title” (Ilgen & Hollenbeck,
1991, p. 319), as well as functions that serve individual, unit, and organizational needs. This
composite of tasks and functions may be formally or informally specified and can be assessed by
examining the stated expectations of role set members (Jablin, 2001; Katz, 1980). Roles are also
associated with certain rights, duties, and privileges (Jablin, 2001), and their centrality to organizing
personal and work routines and managing the complex dynamics of interpersonal relations leads
Katz and Kahn (1978) to refer to roles as “at once the building block of social systems and the
summation of the requirements with which the system confronts the individual members” (p. 186).
When individuals enter an organization, they are given a position and primarily subject to
others expectations about how the role should be performed (Jablin, 1982; Wanous, 1980). As new
hires become more acclimated, they attempt to “individualize” (Jablin, 1982, p. 256) their role by
modifying its components to meet their needs, desires, and abilities. Rather than generally accepting
the role as dictated by the organization (i.e., role-taking; Katz & Kahn, 1978), employees partake in
role-making (Graen, 1976; Graen & Scandura, 1987) and actively seek to modify elements of their
job. As alluded to earlier, role change efforts are likely to occur throughout employees’ tenure in the
organization (Jablin, 2001).
More specific reasons for why individuals seek proactively to alter their roles and their


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