Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Chung-Yan, Gregory

Keywords

engagement; feedback; feedback-seeking; leaders; managers; person-environment fit

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND

Abstract

The present study introduced and examined a theoretical framework, based on person-organization fit theory, to explain how the feedback environments leaders create impact the way their employees value feedback and the extent to which they will look and ask for feedback in the workplace. A sample of 408 employed participants were recruited through multiple online recruitment services originating from various locations mainly including Canada (17.9%) and the United States of America (74.8%). Participants’ average age was 36.2, 33.8% males and 65.7% females, and average salary was $65 000 (M salary = $64 628). The majority indicated a full-time work status (78.2%), and 66.2% reported working in a non-management role. Job roles spanned industries including education, healthcare, retail, government, restaurant-hospitality, information technology, and business finance. Participants completed an online self-report questionnaire assessing perceptions of their feedback environment, feedback orientation, person-organization fit, work engagement, and feedback-seeking. Analyses revealed that the feedback practices leaders engage in can actually predict how useful their employees see feedback and how able and likely they are to apply it to their work and seek it more often. Both a supportive feedback environment and strong feedback orientation positively predicted that employees would feel their values, needs, and abilities are being met by what their organizations expect and that this perceived fit would predict increased work engagement. These findings suggest that leaders have a real opportunity to influence how their employees see the value in feedback by the practices they choose to engage in and that these actions can predict how strongly employees feel they fit within their organization and how engaged they are in their work. Results help to clarify that leaders play a role in how often their employees will ask for evaluative and developmental feedback through the meaning they help their employees ascribe to it.

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