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Reconceptualising Organisational Role Theory for contemporary organisational contexts


Wickham, MD and Parker, M, Reconceptualising Organisational Role Theory for contemporary organisational contexts, Journal of Managerial Psychology, 22, (5) pp. 440-464. ISSN 0268-3946 (2007) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

DOI: doi:10.1108/02683940710757182


Purpose – This research seeks to review extant organisational role theory (ORT) literature, and to identify issues that limit its usefulness to contemporary academics and practitioners alike. Design/methodology/approach – A review of ORT literature was conducted in light of the issues surrounding the effective implementation of HR policies in the workplace. The paper was based on a review of the intersection between ORT and contemporary HR management, and explored using primary survey and semi-structured interview data. Findings – It was found that three assumptions underpinning classical ORT are inadequate to account for the array of roles enacted by employees and the manner in which they impact on working-life. The research suggests that ORT needs to incorporate the key themes of "multi-faceted employee", "employer recognition/facilitation" and "compartmentalisation" into its assumptions in order to account for contemporary HRM issues. Research limitations/implications – This research is only exploratory in nature, and thus requires its findings to be verified in larger sample sizes, and amongst respondents from different cultures and industry categories. Practical implications – This research has practical implications for HR managers wishing to employ effective role-taking/WLB policies in their workplace. Current WLB issues are well established in the literature, and the reconceptualisation of ORT provides some insight into what might constitute the tenets of an effective WLB policy regime. Originality/value – This paper provides an exploration of the contemporary HRM issues that need to be included in a reconceptualisation of ORT. This research would be of value to both academics (reconceptualising classical ORT) and practitioners (who would observe specific implications for the formulation of effective HR policies in the workplace).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Human resourcemanagement,Work identity, Social roles,Role conflict,Employee behaviour,Organizational theory
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Human resources and industrial relations
Research Field:Human resources management
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Management
UTAS Author:Wickham, MD (Dr Mark Wickham)
ID Code:45861
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2010-06-04
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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