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Kinesiology and Physical Education


The purpose of this paper is to summarize recent published studies in sport settings on one of the fundamental elements of group structure (Shaw, 1981), role ambiguity. A first conceptualization of role ambiguity was advanced by Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, and Rosenthal (1964) in the organizational context. Based on this theoretical background, Beauchamp, Bray, Eys, and Carron (2002) proposed a multidimensional model of role ambiguity in sport settings composed of four manifestations (i.e., scope of responsibilities, role behavior, role evaluation, role consequences) appearing in the offensive and defensive contexts. This model was operationally defined through the Role Ambiguity Scale (RAS; Beauchamp et al., 2002) and used in most recent studies in sport context. These studies supported the relationships between role ambiguity and different correlates which can be organized into four categories: coach, athletes, situation, and group related factors. Empirical and applied perspectives are provided to extend and develop the current knowledge.