One's immediate supervisor is an important source of appreciation and recognition. Although employees expect and desire high levels of appreciation from supervisors, they report feeling less appreciated at work than in any other domain of life (cf. Kaplan, 2012; Luthans, 2000). At the same time, supervisors report that they express appreciation to subordinates very frequently (Kaplan, 2012; Luthans, 2000). Given this disconnect, the purpose of my dissertation is to examine the relationship between supervisors' expressed appreciation and subordinates' felt appreciation. To do so, I present three papers that explore appreciation as a relational phenomenon. In Chapter 1, I review the appreciation literature and propose the construct of appreciation (dis)agreement. In Chapter 2, I investigate antecedents and outcomes of (dis)agreement in the supervisor-subordinate relationship. Results from a time-lagged survey study of 157 supervisor-subordinate dyads indicate substantial disagreement between supervisors and subordinates regarding appreciation. Moreover, LMS analyses suggest that agreement on high appreciation, relative to low appreciation, is positively related to relational outcomes such as relationship satisfaction, positive relational tone, and relational maintenance behaviors. Finally, in Chapter 3, drawing on communicative responsibility theory I suggest a supervisor and a subordinate awareness intervention to address the disconnect between supervisors' expressions of appreciation and subordinates' feelings of appreciation. Results of this intervention study, in a sample of 161 supervisor-subordinate dyads, reveal support for the interventions' effects. Implications and future directions are discussed.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Business Administration
Business Administration; Management
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Locklear, Lauren, "Appreciation Agreement and Disagreement in Supervisor-Subordinate Dyads: A Relational Perspective on Workplace Appreciation" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 725.