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Reducing the harmful effect of role ambiguity on turnover intentions

Reducing the harmful effect of role ambiguity on turnover intentions PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate how employees’ perceptions of role ambiguity might increase their turnover intentions and how this harmful effect might be buffered by employees’ access to relevant individual (innovation propensity), relational (goodwill trust), and organizational (procedural justice) resources. Uncertainty due to unclear role descriptions decreases in the presence of these resources, so employees are less likely to respond to this adverse work situation in the form of enhanced turnover intentions.Design/methodology/approachQuantitative data came from a survey of employees of a large organization in the distribution sector.FindingsRole ambiguity enhances turnover intentions, but this effect diminishes at higher levels of innovation propensity, goodwill trust, and procedural justice.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings reveal several contingencies that attenuate the positive effect of role ambiguity on the desire to leave the organization. However, this study relies on the same respondents to assess all the focal variables, and it lacks a direct measure of the mechanisms by which the contingent factors mitigate the relationship between role ambiguity and turnover intentions.Practical implicationsOrganizations that fail to provide clear role information to employees can counter the resulting uncertainty with relevant personal, relational, and organizational resources.Originality/valueThis investigation shows how employees’ negative reactions to role ambiguity (turnover intentions) can be mitigated by three uncertainty-reducing resources: personal joy from developing new ideas, the extent to which relationships with colleagues is trustworthy, and perceptions that organizational procedures are fair. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Personnel Review Emerald Publishing

Reducing the harmful effect of role ambiguity on turnover intentions

Personnel Review , Volume 46 (6): 24 – Sep 4, 2017

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References (108)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0048-3486
DOI
10.1108/PR-08-2015-0221
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate how employees’ perceptions of role ambiguity might increase their turnover intentions and how this harmful effect might be buffered by employees’ access to relevant individual (innovation propensity), relational (goodwill trust), and organizational (procedural justice) resources. Uncertainty due to unclear role descriptions decreases in the presence of these resources, so employees are less likely to respond to this adverse work situation in the form of enhanced turnover intentions.Design/methodology/approachQuantitative data came from a survey of employees of a large organization in the distribution sector.FindingsRole ambiguity enhances turnover intentions, but this effect diminishes at higher levels of innovation propensity, goodwill trust, and procedural justice.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings reveal several contingencies that attenuate the positive effect of role ambiguity on the desire to leave the organization. However, this study relies on the same respondents to assess all the focal variables, and it lacks a direct measure of the mechanisms by which the contingent factors mitigate the relationship between role ambiguity and turnover intentions.Practical implicationsOrganizations that fail to provide clear role information to employees can counter the resulting uncertainty with relevant personal, relational, and organizational resources.Originality/valueThis investigation shows how employees’ negative reactions to role ambiguity (turnover intentions) can be mitigated by three uncertainty-reducing resources: personal joy from developing new ideas, the extent to which relationships with colleagues is trustworthy, and perceptions that organizational procedures are fair.

Journal

Personnel ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 4, 2017

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