'That is my job': How employees' role orientation affects their job performance

Sharon Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Findings from two field studies support the proposition that the way individuals define their role, or their role orientation, is a powerful influence on their behaviour, resulting in more or less effective job performance. The first study showed that, within a relatively self-managing context, flexible role orientation predicted supervisory assessments of overall job performance, as well as a change in job performance. The second study showed flexible role orientation predicted job performance in high autonomy jobs but not low autonomy jobs. In both studies, role orientation predicted performance more strongly than other work attitudes, including job satisfaction, generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, and job aspiration. Collectively, the findings suggest that the development of a more flexible role orientation represents a relatively unexplored avenue for enhancing employee performance, particularly in self-managing contexts. As such, further research on the process of shaping and promoting employees' role orientation is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-434
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2007


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