心理科学进展, 2018, 26(11): 2046-2056 doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.02046

研究前沿

组织中的角色超载

李晴蕾, 王怀勇

上海师范大学心理学系, 上海 200234

Role overload in organizations

LI Qinglei, WANG Huaiyong

Department of Psychology, Shanghai normal University, Shanghai 200234, China

通讯作者: 王怀勇 E-mail: hywang@shnu.edu.cn

收稿日期: 2017-09-11   网络出版日期: 2018-11-15

基金资助: * 国家自然科学基金青年项目.  71701129
教育部人文社会科学研究青年项目.  14YJC190017
上海市教育科学研究一般项目资助.  C17001

Received: 2017-09-11   Online: 2018-11-15

摘要

角色超载是指当个体缺乏必要的能力与技能或足够的时间而无法顺利完成各种角色需求时所体验到的一种角色压力。角色超载不仅影响员工的身心健康, 而且对组织和社会也有消极影响。本文在对角色超载的定义梳理及与相关概念比较的基础上给出了新的界定, 完善了角色超载的概念, 并对维度划分与测量, 以及影响因素与作用结果进行了分析。未来研究应致力于:清晰的界定角色超载的内涵, 合理的维度划分与量表编制, 深入研究其影响因素并关注角色超载的本土化研究。

关键词: 角色超载 ; 角色压力源 ; 组织管理

Abstract

Role overload is one type of role stressors that is experienced by employees who lack the necessary competencies, skills or time to successfully perform a variety of role demands. High role overload has negative impact on the organizations, employees’ performance and health. Based on an extensive review of the current definitions of role overload and comparisons among the relevant concepts, we propose an integrated definition for role overload, and review studies on its structural dimension, measurements, antecedents, and consequences. Future research still needs to use more reasonable standards to explore dimension division and measurements, and look into the influencing factors and localization of role overload.

Keywords: role overload ; role stressor ; organizational management

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本文引用格式

李晴蕾, 王怀勇. (2018). 组织中的角色超载. 心理科学进展, 26(11), 2046-2056

LI Qinglei, WANG Huaiyong. (2018). Role overload in organizations. Advances in Psychological Science, 26(11), 2046-2056

1 引言

“物竞天择, 适者生存”, 随着社会经济的飞速发展, 企业之间的竞争日趋激烈, 这种竞争性环境引发了一种“优胜略汰”的“社会达尔文主义”(social Darwinism)现象(Rizwan, Tariq, & Hussain, 2013)。一般而言, 企业会将竞争压力转嫁给员工以获得更高的生产效率, 自然也会对员工产生更高的角色期待。而当员工面临组织更高的角色期待与要求却感到力不从心时, 就会体会到不同程度的角色压力(role stress)。角色超载(role overload)、角色冲突(role conflict)和角色模糊(role ambiguity)是三种主要角色压力源(role stressor), 在组织管理研究中占有重要地位(Eatough, Chang, Miloslavic, & Johnson, 2011; Ebrahimi, Wei, & Rad, 2014a; Haybatollahi & Gyekye, 2014)。在过去, 学者们更多关注角色冲突与角色模糊, 近年来, 随着员工角色超载现象的日益突出, 角色超载也逐渐成为研究热点。

以往研究发现, 员工知觉到的角色超载不仅会增加其工作压力(Rizwan et al., 2013; Twumasi & Gyensare, 2016), 影响工作绩效与组织承诺(Fisher, 2014; Örtqvist & Wincent, 2006; Yousef, 2002), 而且也会损害其身心健康(Hecht, 2001; Kuntz, Näswall, & Walls, 2013)与生活幸福感(Quah, 2014)。因此, 对角色超载的研究具有较高的应用价值。目前, 国外学者对角色超载已开展了一些研究, 而国内学者却关注不多, 缺乏应有的重视。鉴于此, 本文在回溯近年来国外相关文献的基础上, 重点围绕角色超载的概念界定、维度划分与测量、影响因素及结果展开述评, 并对未来研究进行了展望, 以期促进该领域相关研究的进展。

2 角色超载的概念界定

2.1 角色超载的概念内涵

早期的角色超载并未作为一个独立概念而受到研究者重视, 而是归属于角色冲突的范畴。Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek和Rosenthal等(1964)最先提及角色超载的概念, 并将其认定为一种十分普遍且复杂的冲突形式, 即个人角色冲突(person- role conflict)与角色发送者间冲突(inter-sender conflict)的结合。作为个人角色冲突, 角色超载被认为是关于‘个人现有资源无法满足角色需要’的一种认知; 而作为角色发送者间冲突, 则是指当个体处于复杂的环境(如, 跨边界角色)中, 被期望能同时满足来自多个角色发送者的不同角色期待时所产生的压力感受(Brown, Jones, & Leigh, 2005)。

随着研究的深入, 角色超载逐渐脱离了角色冲突而独立存在(Rizwan et al., 2013)。一些学者认为“时间维度”是角色超载发生的唯一重要基础(Barnett & Baruch, 1983; Duxbury, Higgins, & Halinski, 2015; Hecht, 2001; Jones, Chonko, Rangarajan, & Roberts, 2007; Mishra, 2015; Reilly, 1982)。其中, Reilly (1982)认为角色超载是个体由于生活中承担较多承诺与责任而感受到自身处于时间压力下的程度。Barnett和Baruch (1983)认为角色超载是由于时间过少以至于不能实现过多的角色需求时产生的。另有学者仅从“资源维度”考虑, 认为个体拥有的资源亦会影响角色超载的知觉。Yousef (2002)认为当员工缺乏足够的个人资源(适当的培训与经验), 却承担过于困难与复杂的任务时就会产生角色超载。也可以说, 角色超载是一种因个体缺乏必要的训练与技能而无法满足各种角色要求时产生的压力感受(Surana & Singh, 2013)。

还有学者同时从时间与资源两个维度对角色超载进行界定。Rizzo, House和Lirtzman (1970)认为, 当员工在可用时间、自身能力及其他资源有限的条件下承担过多任务与责任时就会发生角色超载。Covermen (1989)认为, 角色超载是个体将全部时间与资源用于满足各种角色需求时感受到的一种角色压力。Örtqvist和Wincent (2006)将角色超载描述为一种因时间与资源不足而不能满足角色期待的程度。另外, 尽管有从定性与定量角度对角色超载进行的定义, 但究其本质仍属于时间与资源维度。如, Peterson等(1995)认为角色超载是指员工对各种(定性或定量)工作要求超过其拥有的个人资源的感知。定量超载意味着个体需要执行过多的工作, 即任务过重; 定性超载意味着个体完成某种工作时碰到较大的困难, 即任务过难。至此, 本文对不同学者给出的角色超载的概念内涵进行了总结(见表1)。

表1   角色超载内涵总结

定义内涵 侧重点 研究
角色发送者间冲突与个人角色冲突的结合。 角色冲突的一种 Kahn et al., 1964
相对于需要满足的多种角色期待来说缺乏必要的时间。 时间维度 Barnett & Baruch,1983; Duxbury, Higgins, & Halinski, 2015; Hecht, 2001; Jones et al., 2007; Mishra, 2015; Reilly, 1982; Seashore, Lawler, Mirvis, & Cammann, 1982; Williams, 2008
相对需要满足的多种角色期待来说缺乏必要的训练与技能。 资源维度 Van der Doef & Maes, 1999; Rizwan et al., 2013; Surana & Singh, 2013
相对需要满足的多种角色期待来说缺乏必要的时间与资源。 时间维度与资源维度 Covermen, 1989; Duxbury, Lyonst, & Higgins, 2008; Mohamad, Ismail, Mohamad, Ahmad, & Yahya, 2016; Rizzo et al., 1970; Örtqvist & Wincent, 2006; Voydanoff, 2002
个体所拥有的个人资源不足以完成定性或定量的工作要求。 Dubinsky, Michaels, Kotabe, Lim, & Moon, 1992; Ismail, Hasan, Chin, Ismail, & Samah, 2013; Peterson et al., 1995; Yousef, 2002

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综上, 角色超载的概念缺乏被广泛接受的全面清晰的定义, 不同侧重点的发展变化也没有时间顺序可循。而通过对历年来定义内涵的梳理与提炼, 本文发现这些定义虽有不同, 却都描述了角色超载概念的核心:缺乏性, 即时间或资源的不足。鉴于此, 本文重新将角色超载定义为:当个体缺乏必要的能力与技能或足够的时间而无法顺利完成各种角色需求时所体验到的一种角色压力。

2.2 易混淆概念的对比

为了更深入地理解角色超载的内涵, 对其与相关易混淆概念作进一步的区分十分必要。

(1) 角色冲突。在早期定义中, 二者确实很难区分。Kahn等(1964)认为, 当同时出现两种及以上的角色期望, 满足一种会使满足其他角色期望更加困难时, 就会发生角色冲突, 包含角色发送者间、角色发送者本身、个人角色以及角色间四种冲突。而角色超载是个人角色冲突与角色发送者间冲突的结合, 也是角色冲突的一部分。但随着二者定义的完善, 区别日渐清晰。Hecht (2001)认为当一种与角色相关的需求直接干扰个体实现另一角色需求的能力时即出现角色冲突; Zhou, Zeng, Hu, Xi和Tan (2014)认为角色冲突是当个体遭遇不兼容的角色期望时产生的冲突反应; 而当人们对某种角色期望持否定态度时, 角色冲突亦会发生。由此可见, 角色冲突反映的是各种不同角色期望之间的不一致与不兼容, 通常伴随着角色期望与个体所坚持的价值观和规范的冲突, 是一种不可调和的矛盾与冲突。而角色超载的本质在于满足角色期望时所面临时间与资源的‘缺乏性’, 涉及时间过少、任务过重与任务过难, 而当这种缺乏得以补全时, 角色期望通常能被顺利实现。

(2) 工作负荷。由于过高的工作负荷会产生与角色超载相似的消极后果(Suarthana & Riana, 2016), 以至于部分研究将其当作相同变量进行分析。值得注意的是, 二者是有区别的。Bowling和Kirkendall (2012)认为工作负荷是一个包罗万象的术语, 包括所有反映工作量或难度的变量。Avanzi等(2018)认为, 工作负荷是指一系列需要在规定时间内完成的活动, 完成这些活动需要消耗一定的身心资源。Suarthana和Riana (2016)则认为工作负荷是在工作中需要完成的任务与付出的努力。概括地说, 工作负荷本质上是一种工作任务的集合, 有高低程度的差异。而角色超载是一种因过多的任务而感受到的压力体验, 在程度上可与较高的工作负荷相对应, 相当于高度的工作负荷。

3 角色超载的测量与维度划分

3.1 角色超载的一维结构与测量

研究者最初几乎都将角色超载作为单一维度变量加以测量。其中, 较有代表性的是Reilly (1982)Rizzo等(1970)角色冲突与角色模糊量表的基础上编制的包含13个题目的角色超载量表。样题有“我必须要去做那些没有时间和精力去做的事”等, 内部一致性系数为0.88。该量表曾被广泛用于测量角色超载, 只是后来人们会根据研究需要对其进行删减或改动。Foxman和Burns (1987)研究中删除了与总分相关较低的2道题; Marks与MacDermid (1996)根据因子负载值选取了8道题; Thiagarajan, Chakrabarty和Taylor (2006)基于对量表进行的验证性因子分析, 使用6道题测量单亲父母的角色超载; 而Jones等(2007)则只对其中1道题目的内容进行了修改。总之, 这些改动后的量表均支持了角色超载的一维结构。然而, 随后越来越多的研究却发现使用Reilly量表会导致矛盾甚至相反的研究结论。例如, 受教育程度被发现既与角色超载呈正相关(Bellizzi & Hite, 1986), 又与其呈负相关(Kaufman, Lane, & Lindquist, 1991)。至此, 角色超载的一维性遭受质疑(Kaufman et al., 1991; Thiagarajan et al., 2006)。

3.2 角色超载的二维结构与测量

目前, 角色超载存在两种不同的二维结构划分。其一, 基于压力源的不同划分为工作角色超载与家庭角色超载, 分别指在工作或家庭领域中感受到的时间紧张或任务过重(Matthews, Winkel, & Wayne, 2014; Park & Jang, 2017)。遗憾的是, 以往研究中并不存在能够同时测量工作与家庭角色超载的量表。Matthews等(2014)对工作与家庭两个维度的测量沿用了Thiagarajan等(2006)修订的Reilly量表, 使用相同的5道题让参与者分别站在工作与家庭的角度对自身状况进行评估。此外, 也存在针对不同研究目的而编制的单独测量工作或家庭角色超载的量表, 但均未得到广泛的认可与使用(Park & Jang, 2017; Parker, Axtell, & Turner, 2001; Schaubroeck, Cotton, & Jennings, 1989; Hung, Fisher, Gapp, & Carter, 2015) 。然而, 员工在工作或家庭中感受到的超载通常是相互影响的, 有研究发现了工作与家庭之间的域间转换(interdomain transitions)作为一种预防性应对机制, 可减少角色超载的发生(Matthews et al., 2014)。也就是说, 当员工体验到角色超载时会重新分配现有资源, 将资源从“适应”角色转移到 “超载”角色。因此, 从家庭与工作两方面对角色超载分别进行测量尽管更为具体, 但却无法排除这两种超载可能存在的相互干扰。

其二, 基于压力性质的不同划分为定量角色超载和定性角色超载(Ismail et al., 2013; Peterson et al., 1995; Yousef, 2002)。前者是指单位时间内任务过重, 员工因缺乏时间而无法完成任务时产生的压力; 后者是指当面临过于困难与复杂的任务, 员工因缺乏适当的培训和经验而无法完成任务时产生的压力。迄今, 大多数据此划分的研究者却还是将角色超载作为一维变量进行测量, 尚未发现定性与定量角色超载量表。不过值得一提的是Yousef (2002)编制的压力诊断调查量表(Stress Diagnostic Survey, SDS)。该研究者将定量与定性角色超载两个维度和职业发展缺失一起并称为三种工作压力源, 编制了三维量表。样题有“为了完成任务进度我必须在晚上或周末将工作带回家” (定量角色超载)、“分配给我的任务有时太过于困难和复杂” (定性角色超载)。该量表采用7点计分法, 1分代表“从未”, 7分代表“经常”, 相应的内部一致性系数分别为0.71和0.78。

总之, 尽管上述研究者就角色超载的维度构成与量表编制开展了一些工作, 取得了一定的研究成果。但是, 不难看出所用量表大都是以早期的Reilly量表为基础进行的简化与修订, 使用过程中不仅需要对量表的信效度进行重新评估, 而且基于此得到的研究发现也颇有争议。同时, 现有角色超载维度的划分标准不统一, 而相应的科学量表也可以说是不存在的。因此, 如何选用更合理的维度划分标准, 编制相应维度的科学量表都值得未来研究者作进一步的深思与探讨。

4 角色超载的影响因素

目前研究多关注于角色超载的作用结果, 对角色超载影响因素的研究却并不充分(Duxbury et al., 2015)。事实上, 员工的角色超载通常伴随着大量来自工作(如, 老板、同事、下属等)或家庭(如, 配偶、孩子、父母、社区等)的责任与义务而产生, 理应涉及众多影响因素。在此, 本文着重从员工个体、领导者和情境三个层面对角色超载的前因变量进行总结(见表2)。


4.1 员工个体因素

影响角色超载的员工个体因素主要涉及人口统计学与人格特质两类。首先, 员工的角色超载水平在性别、年龄、教育程度、工作年限以及职位级别等人口统计学变量上均有显著差异(Chapela, 2015; Daskin, 2016; Thiagarajan et al., 2006; Williams, 2008; Haybatollahi & Gyekye, 2014), 其中尤以性别的差异更为明显, 相比男性, 女性更容易感受到较高的角色超载。Chapela (2015)对轮班工人角色超载的研究显示, 每周工作超过40 h仅增加了女性发生角色超载的风险。这或许与一种社会现状相关, 即相比大多数只专注工作的男性来说, 女性除了承担工作的压力外, 对家庭事务(如家务、照顾孩子与老人等)也有主观的责任感, 从而面临双重压力(Ahmad, 2010)。

其次, 在自我效能感、时间趋向等人格特质上不同的员工, 其角色超载的程度也有差异。研究表明, 自我效能感高的个体对自己能够在时间与资源紧张的压力下解决问题更有信心, 因此通常感受到更少的角色超载(Dasgupta, 2012)。Daskin (2016)在对酒店前台员工的研究中发现, 时间人格的不同会导致角色超载的差异, 多重时间趋向(polychronicity)的员工偏爱选择同一时间处理多个任务, 往往有较高的角色超载。此外, 不同文化特征引发的人格特质差异也会对角色超载产生影响, 即具有较高的集体主义(collectivism)或较低的个体主义(individualism)的个体, 以及较高权力距离的个体更倾向于表现出角色超载(Peterson et al., 1995)。

4.2 领导者因素

领导者在员工角色超载感知中有重要作用, 尤其是领导风格(Barling & Frone, 2016; Tordera, 2008; Jian, 2012)。已有研究发现, 被动型领导(passive leadership)会增加员工的角色超载(Barling & Frone, 2016; Chênevert et al., 2013)。Chênevert等(2013)认为, 即使时间或资源不足, 员工也没权利拒绝无法完成的任务, 而被动型领导可能会由于无法使员工免于过度的工作要求而导致其出现角色超载。Barling和Frone (2016)同样认为, 被动型领导会因为基础职能的缺失(如, 没有安排合适工作与设定工作期限, 或没有为员工提供必要的技能培训)而使员工感受到定量与定性的角色超载。此外, 领导成员交换质量也会影响员工的角色超载, 但研究结论尚存争议(Tordera, 2008; Jian, 2012)。一些研究发现领导成员交换质量负向影响员工的角色超载, 即相比低质量, 有高交换质量的员工能从领导处获取更多的资源而降低其角色超载(Tordera, 2008); 另一些研究认为二者的关系实际上是一条倒∪型曲线, 相比中等程度交换质量的员工来说, 由于低领导成员交换质量的员工只需要满足契约条款中的角色期望即可, 因此通常情况下角色超载亦不会发生(Jian, 2012)。

4.3 情境因素

影响角色超载的情境因素包含组织管理与行为两方面(Ebrahimi et al., 2014a; Bolino & Turnley, 2005)。资源保存理论(conversation of resource, COR)认为, 个体拥有有限的资源, 并具有获取、保存与维持这些宝贵资源的动机。因此组织可以通过给予员工必要的支持, 使员工获得更多资源来克服困难, 以降低感受到的角色超载(Grant-Vallonea & Ensher, 2001)。Ebrahimi等(2014b)在对一种管理方法——‘全面质量管理(TQM)’的研究中, 分析了TQM的多个维度对角色压力(角色超载、角色冲突、角色模糊)的影响。结果显示, 领导力与角色超载呈显著正相关, 员工参与和供应商管理与角色超载呈显著负相关, 而其他维度则与角色超载无显著相关。此外, 对于组织行为的研究则发现, 从事过多的组织公民行为会占用员工的认知资源, 从而导致角色超载的发生(Eatough et al., 2011; Gurbuz et al., 2013)。例如, Bolino和Turnley (2005)发现个体主动性行为与其角色超载呈显著正相关。总之, 可以通过改变组织管理和行为来达到应对和降低员工角色超载的目的。

5 角色超载的作用结果

大量研究发现, 角色超载对员工、组织、社会均会产生各种不良影响(Duxbury et al., 2008)。本文将这种影响归纳为员工工作态度、工作行为与工作场所溢出三个方面来分别进行阐述(见表3)。

表3   角色超载的影响结果

影响效应 研究
工作
态度
离职意向 正向 Hung et al., 2015; Jensen, Patel, & Messersmith, 2013; Jones et al., 2007; Kim & Han, 2013; Örtqvist & Wincent, 2006; Kuntz, Näswall, & Bockett, 2013; Bowling et al., 2015
工作倦怠 Andrews & Kacmar, 2014; Dasgupta, 2012; Surana & Singh, 2013; Shin, 2015; 姜兆权, 张会君, 2016; Karatepe, 2013
组织承诺(情感承诺) 负向 Fisher, 2014; Örtqvist & Wincent, 2006; Yousef, 2002; Jones et al., 2007; 陈笃升, 王重鸣, 2015; Bowling et al., 2015
工作满意感 Andrews & Kacmar, 2014; Covermen, 1989; Rizwan et al., 2013; Jones et al., 2007; Yousef, 2002
工作压力 Hung et al., 2015; Rizwan et al., 2013; Twumasi & Gyensare, 2016; Wu, Sun, & Wang, 2012; Zhou et al., 2014
工作嵌入 Karatepe, 2013
工作
行为
角色内绩效/任务绩效 负(正)向 陈笃升, 王重鸣, 2015; Adil & Rashid, 2013; Jones et al., 2007; Örtqvist & Wincent, 2006; Akgunduz, 2015; Noblet, Maharee-Lawler, & Rodwell, 2012; Jha, Balaji, Yavas, & Babakus, 2017; Karatepe, 2013
角色外绩效/组织公民行为 负向 陈笃升, 王重鸣, 2015; Curran & Prottas, 2017; Noblet et al., 2012
工作重塑行为 Solberg & Wong, 2016
旷工行为 正向 Duxbury et al., 2008; Duxbury & Higgins, 2003; Bowling et al., 2015
工作
场所
溢出
工作家庭冲突 正向 Gurbuz et al., 2013; Huffman, Payne, Koehly, Culbertson, & Castro, 2014; Matthews et al., 2014; Mohamad et al., 2016; Ugwu, Amazue, Onyedire, & Hackett, 2017
工作家庭平衡 负向 Jha & Jha, 2013; Mani, Sritharan, & Gayatri, 2014; Quah, 2014; Covermen, 1989
身心健康(紧张、焦虑、抑郁) Macewen, Barling, & Kelloway, 1992; Örtqvist & Wincent, 2006; Taştan, 2014; Hecht, 2001; Kuntz, et al., 2013; Nixon, Mazzola, Bauer, Krueger, & Spector, 2011

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5.1 角色超载对员工工作态度的影响

角色超载对员工工作态度的影响可体现在工作倦怠、离职意向、组织承诺、工作满意感等诸多因素上。其中, 对工作倦怠与离职意向的研究最为丰富(Andrews & Kacmar, 2014; Hung et al., 2015; Jensen et al., 2013; Andrews & Kacmar, 2014; Fisher, 2014; Twumasi & Gyensare, 2016; Wu et al., 2012)。角色超载对工作倦怠的影响可用工作要求-资源模型(JD-R Model)来合理的解释, 但几乎所有此类研究都聚焦于工作倦怠的情绪耗竭维度上, 证明了角色超载对情绪耗竭的正向影响, 而角色超载对其他两维度(去个性化与成就感降低)的正向影响却只有少数研究支持(Andrews & Kacmar, 2014; Dasgupta, 2012; Surana, & Singh, 2013; Shin, 2015; 姜兆权, 张会君, 2016; Barling & Macintyre, 1993)。

角色超载对离职意向的影响可用资源保存理论来解释, 即角色超载会消耗员工较多的认知资源, 迫使其采取离职的方式来保存资源。大量研究发现, 角色超载会通过提高员工的工作倦怠、工作压力以及降低组织承诺等不同途径而导致员工离职(Bowling et al., 2015; Noblet et al., 2012)。例如, Kuntz等(2013)认为, 个体感知到过高的角色超载会通过引发其情感耗竭而导致较高的离职意向。Duxbury等(2008)的研究也发现了角色超载与离职意向的显著正相关, 以及与组织承诺的显著负相关。值得注意的是, 大多数关于组织承诺的研究只证明了角色超载对情感承诺的消极影响, 而对组织承诺的另外两个维度(规范承诺与持续承诺)的消极影响却没有证实(Fisher, 2014; Yousef, 2002; 陈笃升, 王重鸣, 2015)。例如, Yousef (2002)以361名来自阿联酋的员工为样本研究了角色超载的两种形式(定量、定性)对组织承诺三个维度的影响, 结果只证明了定量角色超载对员工情感承诺的负向影响, 以及工作满意度的中介作用。

5.2 角色超载对员工工作行为的影响

大部分研究表明角色超载对员工的工作绩效(角色内绩效/角色外绩效)均会产生负向影响(陈笃升, 王重鸣, 2015; Adil & Rashid, 2013; Jones et al., 2007; Örtqvist & Wincent, 2006; Noblet et al., 2012; Jha et al., 2017)。通常情况下, 感知到过高的角色超载会降低员工控制工作环境的能力, 因此会导致其无法高效地工作(Jones et al., 2007)。Adil和Rashid (2013)在对印度零售银行前台职员的研究中发现, 较高的角色超载会使员工缺乏足够的资源来满足顾客的各种需求, 从而会降低其服务质量。陈笃升和王重鸣(2015)的研究发现, 员工的角色超载会导致其对组织的情感承诺下降, 进而间接对任务绩效产生消极影响。但也有个别研究持有相反的结论。例如, Akgunduz (2015)探讨了角色压力对工作绩效的影响, 发现角色超载和自尊与工作绩效呈显著正相关。此外, 作为一种重要的角色外行为, 组织公民行为通常能够通过对组织或组织中的个人提供规定任务范围以外的帮助而提高组织绩效(Noblet et al., 2012)。陈笃升和王重鸣(2015)的研究发现, 角色超载对组织公民行为(帮助行为)具有消极影响。Curran和Prottas (2017)针对高等教育专业人员的研究也证实角色超载对角色内行为与角色外行为(组织公民行为)所产生的负向影响, 虽然这种消极影响在三种角色压力源中是最小的。

角色超载也会影响员工的其他工作行为, 如, 减少员工的工作重塑行为以及提高旷工率(Solberg & Wong, 2016; Duxbury & Higgins, 2003)。作为前瞻性行为的一种, 工作重塑(job crafting)是指员工主动改变工作中任务内容、关系以及认知界限, 使之更好的与个人能力和资源相匹配的行为(Crant, 2000), 通常可为个人与组织带来积极作用。Solberg和Wong (2016)以挪威制造企业的47名领导和143名员工为样本, 发现了在压力环境中, 员工的角色超载会对其工作重塑行为产生负向影响; 但这种负向影响却并不绝对, 它取决于员工个性与领导要求是否匹配, 当员工适应性较强而同时领导的结构需求(leaders’ need for structure)也较低时, 较高的角色超载反而会引发更多的工作重塑行为。

5.3 角色超载对工作场所溢出的影响

研究发现, 角色超载的消极影响不仅局限于工作场所, 而且已经渗透到员工的生活领域, 下面分别从两方面进行阐述。首先, 角色超载会影响员工的工作与家庭之间的关系。工作与家庭领域是一种相互依存的、动态的关系, 因此, 对某个领域中的角色投入过多的时间与资源则会阻碍其他领域中角色的实现。近年来, 大量研究证明了角色超载可导致工作家庭冲突, 干扰工作家庭平衡, 对生活质量也具有消极影响(Mohamad et al., 2016; Gurbuz et al., 2013; Huffman et al., 2014; Matthews et al., 2014)。作为一种角色间冲突, 工作家庭冲突通常被认为是双向的, 包含工作家庭冲突WFC (工作干扰家庭)与家庭工作冲突FWC (家庭干扰工作) (Gurbuz et al., 2013)。Matthews等(2014)的研究证明了工作/家庭角色超载会分别对WFC与FWC产生影响, 家庭角色超载正向影响家庭工作冲突, 工作角色超载正向影响工作家庭冲突。另外, 还有研究发现角色超载会影响员工的婚姻状况。Macewen等(1992)通过时间序列法研究了23对夫妻的短期角色超载, 发现角色超载能通过使人产生焦虑或沮丧等负性情绪而影响婚姻交流(marital interactions), 同时负向影响婚姻满意感(Covermen, 1989)。

其次, 角色超载对员工的身心健康亦有消极影响。较高的角色超载可能会导致各种不良情绪体验(紧张、焦虑、抑郁等)以及躯体症状(头疼、失眠、食欲下降等)的发生。Macewen等(1992)认为, 过多的工作需求会被员工知觉为一种威胁, 从而引发焦虑、沮丧等情绪。而时间与资源被多种角色耗尽也会进一步导致压力、紧张与个体的心理困扰, 从而影响个体的身心健康(Örtqvist & Wincent, 2006)。同时, 除了工作压力, 角色超载与情绪或生理压力的关系也已被大量研究证实(Örtqvist & Wincent, 2006; Taştan, 2014; Hecht, 2001; Nixon et al., 2011)。Taştan (2014)在对251名土耳其护士的研究中发现, 角色超载对心理压力(psychological strain)的正向预测作用在三种角色压力源中最为显著。

6 小结与展望

基于对当前角色超载的概念界定、维度划分与测量以及前因与结果变量等问题的梳理与总结, 本文从以下四个方面分析了现有研究的不足之处, 并对未来研究进行了展望。

6.1 完善角色超载概念的界定

合理的概念界定是科学研究的基础与前提。本文通过分析已有研究, 发现角色超载的概念界定存在以下问题。首先, 缺乏权威性的概念界定。角色超载定义众多且侧重点不一致, 各有优势与偏颇, 不同研究者对角色超载都存在自己的理解, 不利于研究间的相互比较。其次, 不能与相关概念合理区分, 容易造成概念混淆, 降低概念的可操作性与研究的有效性。如, Nixon等(2011)将“工作负荷”等同于“角色超载”进行研究, 但二者实则具有超载“程度”上的差异。Rizwan等(2013)Twumasi和Gyensare (2016)将“工作超载(work overload)”等同于角色超载, 但二者实则具有超载“范围”上的差异。本文通过对不同侧重点定义的取长补短, 完善了角色超载的概念, 弥补了现有研究的不足。未来研究在进行概念界定时可以综合考虑不同维度划分的视角(如, 超载的性质、类型、层面等), 以弥补单一取向的不足。同时也可以再深入地对比更多类似概念(如, 角色模糊、认知超载等)而给出更科学的定义。

6.2 探究角色超载的维度划分与测量

良好的测量工具是推动深入研究的重要保证, 而正确的维度划分则是编制规范量表的基础。目前, 角色超载的维度划分与测量有以下问题。首先, 维度划分存在结构争议。虽然单一维度划分占据主导地位(Reilly, 1982), 但不同结构的二维划分也存在(Park & Jang, 2017; Ismail et al., 2013), 这为研究者编制测量工具带来了麻烦。其次, 缺乏更科学的测量工具。尽管现有角色超载的测量量表众多, 但都缺乏权威性和代表性。即便曾被广泛应用的Reilly单维度量表的信效度也遭到质疑(Kaufman, et al., 1991; Thiagarajan et al., 2006), 而多维度划分与量表编制也并未得到推广与认可。最后, 测量的手段较为单一。现以单时点、员工自评报告的问卷调查法为主, 而该方法容易产生共同方法偏差(common method bias)。基于此, 未来研究一方面需要从更合理、更多样、更整合的角度确定角色超载的维度, 在此基础上立足中国文化背景编制出科学有效的本土化量表; 另一方面应增加多种测量方式, 如, 多时点、他评与自评(领导与员工配对)相结合, 以及日常日记(daily diary)记录等, 从而对角色超载实现多角度全方位的探究。

6.3 影响因素研究有待深入

未来研究可更多围绕角色超载较为薄弱的前因变量部分进行开展。首先, 就个人层面来说, 什么特质的员工更容易感受到角色超载呢?迄今, 仅有少量研究证实了部分特质(如, 自我效能感)会对角色超载产生影响(Dasgupta, 2012)。而其他特质因素, 如大五人格(宜人性、外倾性、神经质等)、自我评价特质(自尊、自信等), 是否会影响角色超载尚不得而知, 这些问题都值得作进一步探讨。此外, 角色超载在人口统计学变量上的差异也并未得到一致结论。除性别已被证实能够影响角色超载外(Chapela, 2015; Thiagarajan et al., 2006; Williams, 2008), 员工的年龄、收入、教育背景、婚姻状况等其他因素的影响也值得继续探讨。

其次, 就组织层面来说, 未来研究应进一步探究更多因素(如, 领导、同事、环境等)对员工角色超载可能产生的影响。除了被动型领导之外, 其他领导类型(如, 变革型领导、家长式领导、交易型领导)是否影响员工的角色超载?同事间的帮助行为能否降低员工感受到的角色超载?工作场所中的嫉妒(envy)或排斥(ostracism)行为又是否会增加角色超载?而组织氛围、组织凝聚力等因素是否影响角色超载?同时, 在对角色超载的影响中, 以上这些因素间是否存在中介、调节以及中介调节与调节中介的复杂关系?这些问题都给未来研究者提供了更大的探索空间。

6.4 角色超载的本土化研究

鉴于与西方国家在文化背景、价值观、对待工作与家庭关系的态度等方面的差异, 推动中国文化背景下员工角色超载的本土化研究尤为重要。本文认为, 未来研究可从以下方面展开。首先, 针对角色超载进行更多的独立研究。长期以来, 我国学者普遍关注角色压力, 但角色超载作为独立因素对员工个体与组织的重要影响已日渐不容小觑(陈笃升, 王重鸣, 2015)。因此, 深入了解本土化企业员工的角色超载的现状和形成机制十分迫切。其次, 编制本土化的测量量表。目前国内对角色超载的测量均采用Peterson等(1995)编制, 李超平和张翼(2009)修订的角色压力源量表, 但在该量表中角色超载仅作为一个维度存在且仅包含5个题目, 难以有力确保其良好的信效度。因此, 结合国人特质与传统企业文化编制出单独测量角色超载的本土化量表也是未来研究的关键。

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
作者已声明无竞争性利益关系。

参考文献

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ABSTRACT Purpose – The main purpose of this study is to explore the influence of self-esteem and role stress on job performance in the hotel businesses. Moreover, the research aims to discover which role stress factors, i.e. role ambiguity, role conflict and role overload, have the most detrimental effect on an employee’s role stress in the hotel businesses. Design/methodology/approach – To achieve the above aim, four sets of hypotheses were proposed: the first looked into the effect of role stress, which consists of role ambiguity, role conflict and role overload on job performance, and the second focused on the effect of employees’ self-esteem on job performance. A questionnaire was used and participants were drawn from 227 hotel employees in Kusadasi, Turkey. To empirically test these hypotheses, structural equation modeling was implemented. Findings – The outcome of the study indicated three patterns: role ambiguity and role conflict are negatively associated with job performance; role overload and self-esteem are positively associated with job performance; and role ambiguity creates more role stress than role conflict or overload. Practical implications – The research findings suggest that some practical methodology should be introduced to improve employees’ job performance and diminish role stress. For instance, hotel managers should decrease role ambiguity and conflict, employ personnel with high self-esteem and prioritize reducing role overload rather than reducing role ambiguity or role conflict. Originality/value – The research findings suggest that both role stress and self-esteem are important factors influencing job performance in hotel management. This paper aims to identify some important steps to increase job performance. Thus, our study should prove to be of great value to those in hotel management.

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Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of polychronicity on frontline employees’ (FLEs) service recovery performance, perceived role overload, and work stress in a hotel work setting. Design/methodology/approach – In this survey, a total number of 267 usable questionnaires were personally retrieved from a sample of full-time FLEs in the research location. The hypothesized relationships were tested using hierarchical regression analysis. Findings – Results based on hierarchical regression analysis reveal that polychronicity had positive impact on service recovery performance and negative impact on role overload and work stress. Significantly, while education was found to be positively related to service recovery performance, on the other hand, age, education, and job tenure were found to be negatively related to role overload and work stress. Practical implications – This paper provides implications for managers in terms of minimizing FLEs role overload and work stress and maximizing their service recovery performance. Also, this study provides useful guidelines to implement effective management practices and improve organizational outcomes within a hotel work setting. Originality/value – Theoretically, the current study by examining the untried effects and relationships such as the effect of polychronicity on FLEs’ service recovery performance and work stress lends further contribution to the tourism and hospitality management literature.

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The purpose of this chapter is to provide the theoretical framework from which role overload arises. This is followed by a discussion of the definitional issues associated with the role overload construct. The antecedents and consequences of role overload are presented and discussed. The theoretical underpinnings of the role overload construct can best be understood by examining the sociological theory of social roles. The term “role” refers to the pattern of behaviors expected and demanded of a person in a given social position by others within the social system. It provides a theoretical framework for understanding role overload and discusses the issues involved in defining the role overload construct. It then reviews the literature on the antecedents and consequences of role overload. Finally, it present findings from the 2001 Canadian National Work–Life Study that are pertinent to role overload and offers suggestions for research and practice. Here overload is defined as a time-based form of role conflict in which an individual perceives that the collective demands imposed by multiple roles (e.g., parent, spouse, employee) are so great that time and energy resources are insufficient to adequately fulfill the requirements of the various roles to the satisfaction of self or others. This definition incorporates a number of noteworthy conceptual points.

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Role conflict and role overload: Different concepts, different consequences

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The concepts of role conflict and role overload have been used, often interchangeably, to interpret sources of gender differences in role-related mental health among men and women who combine the roles of spouse, parent, and worker. However, these types of chronic role strains actually represent two distinct concepts. Definitions of the concepts suggest different contextual sources for these role difficulties as well as different mental health consequences of experiencing them. This paper analyzes some potential sources of feelings of role conflict and role overload, and estimates their effects in undermining psychological well-being among a sample of women who combine work and family roles. Results indicate that (a) different contextual factors influence individuals'feelings of role conflict and role overload, and (b) feelings of role conflict significantly undermine psychological well-being, while feelings of role overload do not.

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Considerable anecdotal evidence has been amassed in recent years regarding the pervasiveness of role overload the degree to which persons are overtaxed cognitively as a result of being under time pressure and having too many commitments and responsibilities. Salespeople would be expected to exhibit some degree of role overload, because of the oftentimes high-pressure nature of their jobs. However, it is noteworthy that role overload has displayed inconsistent relationships with many job attitudes, turnover intentions, and performance measures in studies of salespeople. Work experience could explain the inconsistent findings, because experienced salespeople should cope better with feelings of role overload. Drawing from the career stages literature, we examine the direct influence of role overload on traditional job attitudes, turnover intentions, salesperson performance, and the impact of work experience on these relationships. Managerial implications and future research directions are discussed.

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Oxford, England: John Wiley.

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Includes bibliographical references

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The present exploratory study investigates the concept of polychronic time use through the development and preliminary testing of a proposed scale, the Polychronic Attitude Index (PAI). Polychronic time use is defined and reviewed in relation to role overload and household demographic characteristics. When a sample of consumers in New Jersey was surveyed, both the PAI and role overload were found to be related to different types of polychronic time use. Overall, this research demonstrates that the concept of polychronic time use contributes to our understanding of consumer behavior and raises questions worthy of future research.

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Abstract This paper examines the effect of role overload on marital interactions using a within-person, time series approach. It is proposed that role overload is indirectly related to marital interactions most strongly via anxiety but also via depression. Twenty-three couples completed daily reports of overload, depression and anxiety and weekly reports of their own and their spouse's marital behaviour over 4 months. After controlling for autocorrelation, role overload was found to affect directly both depression and anxiety, but its effect on anxiety was much stronger than that on depression. Anxiety predicted withdrawal from marital interactions, but not anger, and depression predicted anger, but not withdrawal. Also, spouses' perceptions of their partners' behaviour reflected the partners' self-reported behaviour, and spouses' perceptions predicted their own behaviour.

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The literature on multiple roles and identities tends either to ignore strategies of role-system organization altogether or to assume that all people organize a salience hierarchy, through which they assign more importance to some roles and selves than to others. Drawing on our reading of William James and George Herbert Mead, we argue that the way people organize their roles and identities is an empirical issue, not an established fact, and that it is a live option for people to create a nonhierarchical pattern of self-organization. We offer findings from two studies of role balance. Using planned comparisons, we confirm hypotheses that people who maintain more balance across their entire systems of roles and activities will score lower on measures of role strain and depression and higher on measures of self-esteem, role ease, and other indicators of well-being. We end with some cautions and suggestions concerning the further exploration of role balance.

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The extent of role conflict, role ambiguity, and role overload reported by middle managers from 21 nations was related to national scores on power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity. We adapted earlier role stress scales and assessed equivalence using multigroup confirmatory factor analysis. Role stresses varied more by country than by personal and organizational characteristics. Data were aggregated to the national Level. Power distance and collectivism were negatively related to role ambiguity and positively related to role overload.

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The literature indicates that dysfunctional individual and organizational consequences result from the existence of role conflict and role ambiguity in complex organizations. Yet, systematic measurement and empirical testing of these role constructs is lacking. This study describes the development and testing of questionnaire measures of role conflict and ambiguity. Analyses of responses of managers show these two constructs to be factorially identifiable and independent. Derived measures of role conflict and ambiguity tend to correlate in two samples in expected directions with measures of organizational and managerial practices and leader behavior, and with member satisfaction, anxiety, and propensity to leave the organization.

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