dimensions. I use roles to denominate a broader domain of employee performance, which
encompasses differing definitions of employee effectiveness.
Peterson & Smith (2000), in an attempt to explicate the process of meaning
creation in the workplace, conclude that roles are a primary source of meaning
concerning expected role behaviors. It is important to note that according to these authors
explicit assignment to formal roles affects the thoughts and actions of that individual but
this is “not a conclusion that wholly determines actual role relationships.” (Peterson &
Smith, 2000: p.105). It is, thus, essential for both scholars and practitioners to be able to
understand the substantive content as well as the nomological network of predictors and
outcomes of roles in organizations in order to gain a better understanding of the full range
of performance dimensions.
Organizational initiatives such as job enrichment, total quality management, and
employee involvement programs have been instituted with the purpose of enhancing
organizational competitiveness through the proactive employee engagement in the work
process (Lawler, 1992; Welbourne, Johnson, and Erez, 1998). This trend in management
practices has been paralleled by growing interest on the part of researchers in taking a
broader view of work performance and examining the notion of roles in the workplace
(Parker, 1998; Parker, 2000; Welbourne et al., 1998). Parker (1998; 2000) has considered
proactive role orientation and role breath self-efficacy as the ability of individuals to
expand their job domains (Graen, 1976). Welbourne, Johnson, and Erez have (1998)
advocated a broader view on performance as well. They have derived role-based
performance scales (RBPS) for measuring roles in the workplace based on role and
identity theory as theoretical frameworks.