In all organizational settings, roles represent sets of behavioral expectations that are formally and informally assigned to organizational members. Roles serve the purpose of communicating expectations to employees, as well as coordinating the activities of different organizational members. In typical organizations, however, it is rarely the case that each individual employee has one clearly defined role that is recognizable and distinct from the roles of other organizational members. Rather, most organizations consist of a complex web of roles in which each employee may hold multiple roles, different roles may overlap and at times conflict, and the roles of employees may change frequently.

Because of this complex web of roles within organizations, roles can be a source of stress for employees. In fact, the most widely studied ...

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