An important managerial function is to determine the sources and effects of stress on employee performance and to be able to take remedial actions. Past research in purchasing has viewed role stress from a global perspective. However, this does not account for potentially different levels of stress associated with the performance of individual purchasing job activities. In this article, the authors identify the primary activities of the purchasing manager and investigate the level of role ambiguity and role conflict associated with each of them. The results suggest that there are five distinct stress groupings of activities: (1) supplier relations and sourcing, (2) core buying activities, (3) source-to-scrap analysis, (4) inside-outside decisions, and (5) tooling activities. Similar results were found for gender and purchasing responsibility subgroups. The managerial implications of these findings for recruitment, training, and stress management are discussed.
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