Some people think that employees always perform better when given a say in determining the boundaries of their own roles within a company. Other people disagree and think that boundaries of an employee's role should be determined by the management. The issue is a controversial one but a closer inspection reveals that employees perform better if given a say in determining their own role and the company is more productive as a result.
One reason is that an individual is unique and has certain skills. She knows what she can deliver. Clearly, she will be happy if she defines her own role according to her own skills and capabilities. If the manager of this employee were to force her to perform above and beyond her capabilities, she is set to fail and leave the company. Hence, the manager will be required to find a suitable replacement and train the replacement, thereby wasting valuable resources of the company.
Another reason is that a company's performance is the result of team work of its employees. It is the responsibility of the team leader to know exactly what each individual is capable of delivering. Unless the team leader has intuition or telepathy, how can he know what each person in his team is capable of delivering? Thus, it is the best interest of the team leader to let each team member define his\her role. This way every member of the team has clearly expressed what he\she can deliver. The leader can also perform better as he can now hold his team members accountable for the role that they have defined for themselves. As a result, the team leader is no longer committing to the management what the team can not deliver. Hence, the company has a clear understanding of what each of its team can deliver.
Perhaps the best reason is that a happy employee is a productive employee. Specifically, giving an employee the ownership of his\her work will reduce the stress of that employee. On the other hand, if the manager forces the employee to deliver a certain level of output, the employee is bound to get stressed out. Under a stressful situation the dynamics of the team will suffer. In fact, an employee who is forced to produce a certain level of output that goes outside of his or her self-defined role, may not leave the company. But this employee will be unhappy and hence will not be able to contribute to the best of his or her abilities. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the management of a company to ensure that its employees are happy. Hence, it is necessary to give the employees a say in determining the boundaries of his or her role within a company.
In summary, while there are arguments to be made for both sides of the issues, it is clear that there are much greater advantages for companies which give their employees a say in determining the boundaries of their own role within a company. Employees will know best what they can deliver and are the best judges of determining their roles. Also, the teams will be much more productive. Employees will be happy and therefore more productive. If employees are not given a say in determining their roles, they may leave the company; thus, wasting the time that the company invested in their training. Even if an employee does not leave the company, he or she would not be able to contribute to the best of his or her abilities. Certainly, giving employees a say in determining the boundaries of their roles within a company outweighs not giving them a say. Hence, employees always perform better when given a say in determining the boundaries of their roles within a company.