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An Analysis of Employees’ Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes
Unformatted Document Text:  Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes 4 supervisor’s expectations include boredom, desire for new challenges, and political, monetary, social, and/or physical (e.g., require less effort) benefits (Ashforth, 2001; Zurcher, 1983). Others seek to realign their responsibilities in order to improve their or their unit’s efficiency (Axtell et al., 2000; Frese, Teng, & Wijnen, 1999; Jassen, 2000). Employees are also motivated to alter their roles when faced with role conflict, which may pose formidable challenges and undue stress (Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, & Snoek, 1964; Katz, 1985). Role conflict is marked by “the simultaneous occurrence of two or more role sendings that compliance with one would make more difficult the compliance with the other” (Katz & Kahn, 1978, p. 204). Lending partial support of these motivations, Miller et al. (1999) report that employee perceptions of their ability to negotiate their roles is negatively related to their role conflict experiences, but positively related to their reported job satisfaction. Instead of seeking concurrence over proposed role changes, employees may opt for other forms of role change involving minimal, initial interaction with their supervisor. For instance, secondary adjustments, as coined by Goffman (1961), refer to role changes without supervisory approval (Zurcher, 1983). Employees assume (or cease) new tasks/responsibilities on their own initiative and continue to perform such until the supervisor observes the change and then implicitly or explicitly approves the changes or disciplines the subordinate. These changes may significantly improve their job performance or unit efficiency (e.g., new methods or techniques to achieve production goals, trading responsibilities with coworkers) or, conversely, lessen individuals or their work unit’s effectiveness in the eyes of the supervisor. Secondary adjustments are principally covert in nature and have the potential to create gaps between the superior and subordinate in their shared understanding of role objectives and actual performance. Covert role changes are likely to result in a host of undesirable outcomes such as violation of trust, demotion, hurt feelings, ostracism, or even dismissal, especially when performance is weakened (Zurcher, 1983).

Authors: Callies, Letticia. and Miller, Vernon.
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Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes
4
supervisor’s expectations include boredom, desire for new challenges, and political, monetary,
social, and/or physical (e.g., require less effort) benefits (Ashforth, 2001; Zurcher, 1983). Others
seek to realign their responsibilities in order to improve their or their unit’s efficiency (Axtell et al.,
2000; Frese, Teng, & Wijnen, 1999; Jassen, 2000). Employees are also motivated to alter their roles
when faced with role conflict, which may pose formidable challenges and undue stress (Kahn,
Wolfe, Quinn, & Snoek, 1964; Katz, 1985). Role conflict is marked by “the simultaneous
occurrence of two or more role sendings that compliance with one would make more difficult the
compliance with the other” (Katz & Kahn, 1978, p. 204). Lending partial support of these
motivations, Miller et al. (1999) report that employee perceptions of their ability to negotiate their
roles is negatively related to their role conflict experiences, but positively related to their reported
job satisfaction.
Instead of seeking concurrence over proposed role changes, employees may opt for other
forms of role change involving minimal, initial interaction with their supervisor. For instance,
secondary adjustments, as coined by Goffman (1961), refer to role changes without supervisory
approval (Zurcher, 1983). Employees assume (or cease) new tasks/responsibilities on their own
initiative and continue to perform such until the supervisor observes the change and then implicitly
or explicitly approves the changes or disciplines the subordinate. These changes may significantly
improve their job performance or unit efficiency (e.g., new methods or techniques to achieve
production goals, trading responsibilities with coworkers) or, conversely, lessen individuals or their
work unit’s effectiveness in the eyes of the supervisor. Secondary adjustments are principally covert
in nature and have the potential to create gaps between the superior and subordinate in their shared
understanding of role objectives and actual performance. Covert role changes are likely to result in
a host of undesirable outcomes such as violation of trust, demotion, hurt feelings, ostracism, or even
dismissal, especially when performance is weakened (Zurcher, 1983).


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