Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Management (Business Administration)

Document Type



In the last twenty years, researchers have examined why individuals may proactively seek performance feedback in the workplace. Since Ashford and Cummings' (1983) seminal article, situational and individual difference variables have predominantly been examined to predict how often employees will seek feedback. One situational variable that has been researched but not sufficiently examined is the feedback context. A public or a private feedback context considers whether the presence of an audience inhibits or facilitates feedback seeking behaviors. This dissertation explores the role of the feedback context by developing a conceptual model to determine how frequently employees may seek feedback in a public or private context. Variables used in previous feedback seeking research are incorporated in this conceptual model. These individual difference and situational variables include perceived value of public or private feedback, goal orientation, public self-consciousness, self-esteem, external feedback propensity, and tolerance for ambiguity. Also explored are the relationships between public or private feedback seeking and individual outcomes such as career success, organizational citizenship behaviors, and individual performance. One hundred forty-eight employees participated in a field study to determine whether individuals vary in their feedback seeking behaviors. Results of this study show some significant differences in individuals seeking public or private feedback. The results also support some significant relationships between public or private feedback seeking and individual outcomes such as extrinsic career success. Surprisingly, the relationships between public and private feedback seeking and organizational citizenship behaviors and individual performance were not as predicted.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Marcia J. Simmering



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Business Commons