Exploring Leader-Employee Work Relationship Agreement and Constructiveness of Feedback
In recent years, there has been a performance management revolution, making it especially critical that researchers study the informal exchange of feedback outside of the formal review. In this dissertation, I conduct two studies that focus on informal, constructive feedback. In study 1, I validate a measure that captures constructiveness of feedback and another that captures the degree to which work relies on virtual interactions. In study 2, I draw on interpersonal attraction theory to develop a dyadic model that tests three sets of hypotheses using polynomial regression and response surface methodology. First, I test the direct effects of leader-employee (L-E) relational attribute agreement on constructive feedback. Second, I contextualize this dyadic interaction by testing two moderators – gender similarity and virtuality of work. Finally, I examine constructive feedback as a mediating mechanism between L-E relational attribute agreement and three sets of beneficial (job performance and work engagement), consequential (turnover intentions and stress) and interpersonal (prosocial behavior and relationship conflict) outcomes. Overall, my hypotheses received mixed support. In L-E dyads with agreement at high levels of relational attributes, employees experienced more constructive feedback compared to those in L-E dyads that agreed their relational attributes were at low levels. Surprisingly, it was not the case that the extent to which leaders and employees agreed on their relational attributes (whether at high or low levels) was better than disagreeing for constructive feedback. The strength of the relationship between L-E relational attribute agreement and constructive feedback was marginally influenced by gender similarity, but not by virtuality of work. Finally, constructiveness of feedback mediated the relationship between L-E relational attribute agreement and work engagement. Overall, the results show that positive L-E work relationships are important for constructive feedback and motivating employees, especially when the leader and employee both view the relationship positively.
- Doctor of Philosophy
- West Lafayette