Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Society

Illegitimate Tasks and Their Impact on Work Stress: The Mediating Role of Anger

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Society

Illegitimate Tasks and Their Impact on Work Stress: The Mediating Role of Anger

Article excerpt

1.INTRODUCTION

Illegitimate task performs as a task related stressor. This stress stems from the threat to ones' identity by tasks considered either to be unreasonable or unnecessary (Björk, Bejerot, Jacobshagen, & Härenstam, 2013). These two facets of illegitimate tasks are linked to one's professional role identity. The role identity being at the base of the definitions given to illegitimate task, also takes part in defining the "Stress as Offence to Self-theory" (SOS theory). Illegitimate tasks are specified by the employee's perception that they shouldn't have to do them (N. K. Semmer, Jacobshagen, Meier, & Elfering, 2007; N. K. Semmer, McGrath, & Beehr, 2005). Ruling out tasks as unnecessary and unreasonable are major facets of illegitimate task. However, as mentioned above illegitimate tasks are considered so, depending on their contextual meaning. The same task has the tendency to be considered legitimate or illegitimate owing to the circumstance. A similar task may also be illegitimate for one and legitimate for the other depending on the social meaning it implies to the role of the individual. Tasks that do not conform to the norms are considered illegitimate. The non-conformity of these tasks may not necessarily be tied to their intrinsic implication or characteristic. As the tasks it may not be demeaning but the social message that it implies has derogative social signals.

This research bases its foundation on notions such as SOS theory, justice theory and role identity theory as it dives into the relationship of illegitimate tasks and wellbeing/strain This relationship will be mediated by anger. Illegitimate task has been associated with counterproductive worker behaviour such as aggression (N. K. Semmer, Tschan, Meier, Facchin, & Jacobshagen, 2010). In this study we will not be studying illegitimate tasks and aggressive behaviour as a direct relationship however the latter will be examined as a mediator between illegitimate tasks and other stressors.

Research lacks a lot of literature on illegitimate tasks (N. K. Semmer et al., 2015). In this aspect it is a rather newer topic. For validating and strengthening a topic such as illegitimate tasks, it is necessary to carry out number of empirical studies supporting or determining its peripheral and core concepts (Björk, Bejerot, Jacobshagen, & Härenstam, 2013). Various studies still need to validate the outcomes of illegitimate tasks as a stressor (N. K. Semmer et al., 2007) and its effects on counter-productivity (N. K. Semmer et al., 2015). These studies will however are more in the need to be carried out considering various mediators and moderators. The relationship between stress and illegitimate task are among the initial studies made on the topic. Further studies are needed for adding to the concept with complexities such as mediations and moderations. Confirming the psychometric properties of new theoretically derived concepts is much needed in reference to illegitimate task. Further investigating the plausible determinates of illegitimate tasks is an excelling field of research which still demands insight and exploration (Björk et al., 2013). Studies still need to confirm the actions that counteract illegitimate tasks in organisations (Björk et al., 2013). Previously most of the data accumulated on stress and stressor models paid more attention to the classic stressors while the social stressors have been neglected for a long time (Dormann & Zapf, 2002). Despite the lack of data available on illegitimate tasks, the first hint of stress created by tasks, considered unnecessary for a certain job was hinted by Rizzo, House, and Lirtzman (1970). This was hinted in the form of role stress. Another study by Motowidlo, Packard, and Manning (1986) also gives a glimpse of the illegitimate tasks and stress. As they studied the stress faced by nurses in their everyday routine they included non-nursing tasks as one of the variables of stressor. …

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