Role Conflict / Role Ambiguity Questionnaire

Rizzo, R. J., et al. (1970). Role conflict and ambiguity in complex organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly15:150–63.


The role conflict scale was designed to measure the role ambiguity and role conflict of individuals within an organization. Role ambiguity is defined as the extent to which an individual is unclear about the role expecta- tions of others, as well as the degree of uncertainty associated with one’s role performance. It is often noted in the literature that role ambiguity leads to role conflict. Role conflict is the degree to which expectations of a role are incompatible, or incongruent, with the reality of the role. This incompatibility may be due to conflicts between organizational demands and one’s own values, problems of personal resource allocation, or conflicts between ob- ligations to several different people.

Scale Construction:

The questionnaire originally consisted of 30 items, 15 dealt with role ambiguity and 15 with role conflict. Of the role conflict items, 10 were stress worded and five were comfort worded. The role ambiguity items consisted of six that were stress worded and nine were comfort worded.


The six items of the role ambiguity scale had an alpha coefficient of 0.73, and the eight items on the role conflict scale was 0.88.

Factor Analysis:

The 30 items were factor analyzed using an image covariance method with a varimax rotation. Only 14 items were retained on two factors, which accounted for 56 percent of the common variance. A high score on role ambiguity indicates feelings of comfort with a role; however, scoring on these items is usually done in the reverse to indicate ambiguity or discomfort with the role. Items 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 13 provide a measure of role ambiguity (RA), while the remaining items are used to score role conflict (RC).


Lane, T., and Johnson, T. W. (1981). What do role conflict and role ambiguity scales measure? Journal of Applied Psychology66:464–69.

Violanti, L. M. (2003). The relationship of job satisfaction to role ambiguity and role conflict among school counselors. EdD dis- sertation, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Wilson, S. M. (1979). Role conflict, role ambiguity, and job satisfaction among fulltime principals and teaching principals in Maine. EdD dissertation, George Peabody College.

Role Conflict/Role Ambiguity

1. I have clear, planned goals and objectives for my job.
2. I have to do things that should be done differently.
3. I know I have divided my time properly.
4. I receive an assignment without the assistance to complete it.
5. I know what my responsibilities are.
6. I have to buck a rule or policy in order to carry out an assignment.
7. I work with two or more groups who operate quite differently.
8. I know exactly what is expected of me.
9. I receive incompatible requests from two or more people.
10. I feel certain about how much authority I have.
11. I do things that are apt to be accepted by one person and not by others.
12. I receive an assignment without adequate resources and materials to complete it.
13. Explanation is clear of what has to be done.
14. I work on unnecessary things.


A Likert-type scale was used ranging from Definitely not true of my job = 1 to Extremely true of my job = 7.