Using 224 employee-supervisor dyads, this study shows that task interdependence increases employees' peer feedback seeking, especially when the working environment is perceived as psychologically safe. Results also show that employees seeking peer feedback are perceived as better contributors, creating greater intentions to consider them for rewards.
De Stobbeleir, Katleen; Ashford, Susan; Zhang, C. (Sage, 2018)
Are there benefits to seeking feedback from peers, or is it not worth the time and effort as employees sometimes believe? If there are benefits, does it matter in teams both with and without formal supervisors, and what contextual conditions facilitate such seeking? These questions motivate the current research. Based on the theoretical differences between peers and supervisors as targets of feedback seeking, we adopt a cost-value perspective to examine whether task interdependence and psychological safety affect the seeking of feedback from peers in a team. We also assess whether such seeking creates value for the seeker him-/herself (by having a cross-source effect on the supervisor’s evaluations) and for the collective (by impacting the team’s creativity). We test these ideas in two studies. In a sample of 209 employee-supervisor dyads (Study 1), we find that employees seek more peer feedback when tasks are interdependent, especially when they perceive their working environment as psychologically safe, and that supervisors view employees who seek more peer feedback as better team contributors. Then, in a longitudinal sample of 88 self-managed MBA consulting teams (Study 2), we find that the average level of peer feedback seeking in a team enhances the team’s creativity. Our findings highlight the power of seeking feedback from peers as well as the context factors shaping it.
Ashford, Susan; Wellman, Ned; de Luque, Mary Sully; De Stobbeleir, Katleen; Wollan, Melody (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2018)
Humble leadership is attracting increased scholarly attention, but little is known about its effects when used in conjunction with less humble leadership behaviors that rely on a perception of the leader as confident and charismatic. This study contrasts the effects on top management team (TMT) potency and organizational performance of a more humble (feedback seeking) and a less humble (vision) CEO leader behavior. We hypothesize that CEO feedback seeking increases TMT potency and firm performance by communicating to TMT members that the organization values their input and encouraging their own feedback seeking, whereas CEO vision articulation influences these outcomes by fostering greater clarity about the firm's direction, and an enhanced ability to coordinate efforts within the TMT. CEOs who have not developed a vision can achieve a similar positive impact on TMT potency and firm performance by seeking feedback. In a sample of CEOs and TMT members from 65 firms, both CEO feedback seeking and vision articulation exhibit positive direct relationships with firm performance. However, only feedback seeking displays an indirect effect on performance via TMT potency. Finally, CEO feedback seeking has its strongest effects on firm performance and TMT potency for CEOs who are not seen as having a vision.
Ashford, Susan; De Stobbeleir, Katleen; Nujella, Mrudula (2016)
In 1983, our understanding of feedback in organizations shifted from a focus on feedback from supervisors through the annual performance review to consider also the feedback information proactively sought by individuals as part of their everyday interactions within organizations (Ashford & Cummings 1983). This article updates our understanding of the field of feedback-seeking behavior (FSB) since this literature was last reviewed in 2003, analyzes its current state, and suggests future research ideas. We begin by positioning feedback seeking within a broader theoretical context by relating it to proactivity, impression management, and individual adjustment. We then review what we currently know about who is more likely to seek feedback, as well as the contexts that stimulate such seeking. We then review the benefits and potential costs that might accompany feedback seeking, with regard to the person who is seeking it as well as the group. We conclude this review by identifying potentially fruitful avenues for further research and some key practical implications.
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