Half full or half empty: The role of optimism in boundary-spanning positions

Jody L. Crosno, Shannon B. Rinaldo, Hulda G. Black, Scott W. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Previous research demonstrates the dysfunctional consequences of high levels of role stressors (role ambiguity and role conflict) in boundary-spanning positions. These consequences include higher levels of burnout and lower levels of satisfaction and performance. Although marketing researchers have investigated external mechanisms for coping with role stressors, research to date has not investigated the inherent capability of boundary spanners to cope with role stressors. This research examines optimism as an internal characteristic that facilitates coping with role stressors in boundary-spanning positions. The research findings reveal that optimists are able to anticipate and respond proactively to stressors, resulting in less burnout and higher levels of performance and satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-309
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Service Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Job satisfaction
  • Optimism
  • Performance
  • Proactive coping
  • Role stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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