Differentiation of Boundary Spanning Roles: Labor Negotiations and Implications for Role Conflict

Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 37, pp. 28-47, 1992

20 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2006

See all articles by Ray Friedman

Ray Friedman

Vanderbilt University - Organizational Behavior

Joel M. Podolny

Yale School of Management

Abstract

In this paper we test the hypothesis that boundary spanning is a differentiated function that is not necessarily performed by one person, as assumed in much previous research. Using longitudinal network data collected during labor negotiations, we found that some individuals on the bargaining teams (representatives) broker ties toward their opponents, while others (gatekeepers) broker ties from their opponents; and some broker task-oriented ties (measured by flows of advice), while others broker socioemotional ties (measured by flows of trust). Differentiation of trust and advice brokerage roles was strong throughout the negotiations, while differentiation of representative and gatekeeper roles became more distinct as the contract deadline (and increased potential for role conflict) neared. This analytic distinction suggests that role conflict must be examined differently, both conceptually and methodologically, and widens the range of options available for managing potential role confllcts.

Keywords: labor,negotiation,role,conflict,boundary spanning,groups

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Raymond A. and Podolny, Joel M., Differentiation of Boundary Spanning Roles: Labor Negotiations and Implications for Role Conflict. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 37, pp. 28-47, 1992, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=935148

Raymond A. Friedman (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Organizational Behavior ( email )

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
615-322-3992 (Phone)
615-343-7177 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mba.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/rfriedman.cfm

Joel M. Podolny

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

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