Provide an example of role conflict.

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One example of a role conflict is when a supervisor is friends with his/her co-workers. If one is playing the role of the friend, one would expect to be friendly with them at all times. When one is expected to be a supervisor, then one would have to occasionally issue...

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One example of a role conflict is when a supervisor is friends with his/her co-workers. If one is playing the role of the friend, one would expect to be friendly with them at all times. When one is expected to be a supervisor, then one would have to occasionally issue disciplinary measures in order to maintain morale and present the presence of being a fair supervisor who did not play favorites.

Another example is that of the Christian who is called upon to serve one's country in war. The Bible commands Christians not to kill, but it is often a soldier's duty to kill the enemy. Many people were able to avoid the draft in WWI by identifying as conscientious objectors, though it was hard to meet the government's conditions of being a pacifist. Even if one met the conditions officially, one was often branded as a coward or disloyal.

Another example of a role conflict is when someone who works many hours as an executive has to miss his/her family's gatherings. The company values the CEO's hard work, and the family may also expect the CEO to be the breadwinner; however, spouses and children may become upset if the CEO does not play the role of parent or spouse. This can ultimately lead to tension within the household.

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Role conflict looks different in various contexts. At the center of the issue is that a person feels "pulled in two directions," so to speak, based on two different senses of obligation.

Consider this scenario. You have a supervisory position at work, and your incredible friend Noelle works there as well. Your boss thinks you do outstanding work and depends on you to lead people well. Unfortunately, Noelle is struggling with her personal life, and she's often late and usually unfocused, making lots of mistakes. People begin complaining to you about Noelle since you are her supervisor. Noelle's personal life gets worse, and she becomes depressed, telling you that work is the only thing saving her at this point. Your boss tells you that you're going to have to remediate the situation with Noelle. You now have two competing roles: good employee and good friend. It's tough (or impossible) to be both in this scenario.

Sometimes we experience role conflict because the expectations of the role are ambiguous or poorly defined. Consider the mom who works full-time and also wants to be a "good mom." Because stereotypical expectations abound in our society, she may attribute the role of "good mom" to things that conflict with being an employed mom. Perhaps she misses a soccer game. Maybe she feeds her kids takeout four nights per week. Maybe she has to reschedule her daughter's optometrist appointment because she herself has a presentation at work that same day. At this point, she may feel that her role of employee and her role of mom create conflict with each other.

The more roles and responsibilities one has, the more likely one is to feel conflict between those roles.

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Role conflict occurs when someone is placed in a role that has two mutually conflicting imperatives. A person in this situation often feels a responsibility to do two conflicting duties.

Many doctors experience role conflict in various situations. A doctor's primary role is to do everything possible to heal a patient, but in certain cases, the role of medical personnel may be to assist in euthanasia or even capital punishment. In the case of euthanasia, many medical personnel accept that this is the best choice for a person's well-being and that it alleviates suffering, but it still can be a difficult decision because medical training is focused on curing patients rather than letting them or helping them die. Capital punishment is an even more extreme example of role conflict, as it requires medical staff to assist in taking the life of someone who is not suffering a terminal illness.

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Role conflict is the disharmony that occurs when two roles create conflicting demands on an individual and make it difficult for that individual to adequately perform one or both of the roles. There are two types of role conflict: inter-role conflict and intra-role conflict.

Inter-role conflict occurs when the demands arise from different roles. For example, the demands that arise from parenthood and employment result in tension not only at home, but also at work. An individual may devote too much time to their work and fail to have time for their family, causing them to feel neglected.

Intra-role conflict, on the other hand, occurs when there are conflicting demands in one role. For instance, if two senior managers request an employee to accomplish two different tasks in the same time frame, the employee would encounter conflict. They would have difficulty prioritizing the tasks and would, therefore, have to work under pressure to meet the two managers’ deadlines.

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