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An Analysis of Employees’ Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes
Unformatted Document Text:  Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes 5 In contrast, role negotiations provide an overt forum for supervisors and subordinates to discuss job elements, tasks, and responsibilities as well as employee needs and desires (Miller et al., 1996). Even when both parties are cryptic or less than forthcoming about their positions, these message exchanges are an important focus of study as they afford employees some degree of authority over their roles and contribute to the construction of supervisory and employee role expectations. Moreover, resulting joint agreements and understandings appear to be central to meeting subordinates’ needs and the organization’s operational requirements. Role Negotiation Behaviors. Role negotiation “occurs when two or more persons consciously interact with the express purpose of altering the others expectations about how a role should be enacted and evaluated” (Miller et al., 1996, p. 296). In some cases employee role change objectives concur with supervisors’ inclination, and role negotiations may go smoothly. At other times, supervisors are reluctant or even oppose the stated (or suspected underlying) role change objective, requiring considerable reworking of initially proposed ideas, sacrificing a set of objectives in order to secure other gains, and/or even accepting additional duties to attain the original objectives, or accepting the rejection of the role change attempt. For instance, Kramer and Noland (1999) report that 65% of a sample of recently promoted employees attempted to change other employees’ (i.e., former peers who are now subordinates) expectations while the remainder of the sample sought to change superiors’ expectations, especially with regard to guest complaints, customer relations, and training. Perhaps reflecting the complexity and difficulty of convincing others’ of role change, employees in this sample report that their change attempts frequently fell short of their goals. In general, successful and unsuccessful negotiations are thought to revolve around the distributive and integrative approaches. A distributive approach, characterized by the use of threats, positional commitment, and arguments why the other party should concede, reduces the likelihood

Authors: Callies, Letticia. and Miller, Vernon.
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Recalled Role Negotiation Episodes
5
In contrast, role negotiations provide an overt forum for supervisors and subordinates to
discuss job elements, tasks, and responsibilities as well as employee needs and desires (Miller et al.,
1996). Even when both parties are cryptic or less than forthcoming about their positions, these
message exchanges are an important focus of study as they afford employees some degree of
authority over their roles and contribute to the construction of supervisory and employee role
expectations. Moreover, resulting joint agreements and understandings appear to be central to
meeting subordinates’ needs and the organization’s operational requirements.
Role Negotiation Behaviors. Role negotiation “occurs when two or more persons
consciously interact with the express purpose of altering the others expectations about how a role
should be enacted and evaluated” (Miller et al., 1996, p. 296). In some cases employee role change
objectives concur with supervisors’ inclination, and role negotiations may go smoothly. At other
times, supervisors are reluctant or even oppose the stated (or suspected underlying) role change
objective, requiring considerable reworking of initially proposed ideas, sacrificing a set of
objectives in order to secure other gains, and/or even accepting additional duties to attain the
original objectives, or accepting the rejection of the role change attempt. For instance, Kramer and
Noland (1999) report that 65% of a sample of recently promoted employees attempted to change
other employees’ (i.e., former peers who are now subordinates) expectations while the remainder of
the sample sought to change superiors’ expectations, especially with regard to guest complaints,
customer relations, and training. Perhaps reflecting the complexity and difficulty of convincing
others’ of role change, employees in this sample report that their change attempts frequently fell
short of their goals.
In general, successful and unsuccessful negotiations are thought to revolve around the
distributive and integrative approaches. A distributive approach, characterized by the use of threats,
positional commitment, and arguments why the other party should concede, reduces the likelihood


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