Poor Role Clarity

The clarity of roles is a must in a team situation. When roles are not clearly defined, this can lead to conflict and confusion on tasks.

Team members may not understand what exactly is expected of each of them. Some team members may land up shouldering a bigger share of the work and find themselves overstretched and stressed out. Conversely, some may take on too small a share as a result of poor understanding of the role and therefore feel underutilized or demotivated. This lack of awareness can also mean that not all goals are reached as there are parts of the teams responsibilities that aren’t getting done. Steven Bray, University of Lethbridge and Lawrence Brawley, University of Waterloo conducted a study to examine role clarity as a moderator of the role efficacy / role performance relationship.

Their findings were:

‘Individuals who reported higher role clarity also reported higher role effectiveness and performed better than those with lower role clarity’

The responsibility to ensure the understanding of roles and create an effective team structure rests squarely with the team leader. When the team performance is below par due to a poor understanding of roles, it points back to ineffective team leadership.

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