Innovative working behavior and stress as a response to role overload and role ambiguity

Simon B. De Jong, Onne Janssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research develops and tests the hypothesis that role ambiguity strengthens the positive relationship between role overload and innovative work behavior, whereas role clarity (i.e. less role ambiguity) weakens this relationship. Furthermore, it is presumed that role overload is positively related to stress regardless of the level of role ambiguity. The results of a survey study, involving 101 employees of a Dutch healthcare insurance company, showed that role overload was indeed positively related with innovative work behavior when employees experience a high level of role ambiguity, whereas this relationship did not occur when employees experienced the role clarity. In addition, role ambiguity did not appear to have a moderating influence on the positive relationship between role overload and stress. The results are discussed in the context of the Job Demand-Control-model and recent findings in literature on innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-82
Number of pages17
JournalGedrag & Organisatie
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • role overload
  • role ambiguity
  • innovatitve work behavior
  • stress

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