Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Does self-other agreement on upward feedback impact employee attitudes and outcomes? A response surface methodology examination

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Margaret Brooks (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Scott Highhouse (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

William O'Brien (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Deborah Wooldridge (Committee Member)


Organizations are increasingly administering upward feedback instruments to develop managerial capabilities because managers play a substantial role in affecting important employee attitudes and outcomes such as their job satisfaction, turnover, and performance (e.g., Agarwal, Datta, Blake-Beard, Bhargava, 2012; Bracken, Timmreck, & Church, 2001; Hogan & Kaiser, 2005). The objectives of this research were to (a) test the assumption that better people managers have subordinates who report more positive attitudes and outcomes, (b) examine the role of self-other agreement (SOA) on ratings of people-managing behaviors on subordinate attitudes and outcomes, given its established role in the leadership literature for affecting subordinate job satisfaction, trust, turnover intentions, and performance (e.g., Amundsen & Martinsen, 2014; Atwater, Waldman, Ostroff, Robie, & Johnson, 2005; Sosik, 2011), and (c) examine culture (individualistic vs. collectivistic) and subordinate tenure (shorter vs. longer) as two potential moderators for the relationship between SOA and subordinate outcomes. Consistent with expectations, this study found that managers who had higher average subordinate-reported scores on the upward feedback survey (measuring people managing behaviors consisting of coaching for subordinates’ work and career, and demonstrating respect and care for subordinates interpersonally) had subordinates who reported higher engagement (r = .24, p < .001), intentions to stay (r = .19, p < .001), and manager-rated performance (r = .10, p < .001). The overall association of SOA with self- and subordinate-rated people managing behaviors was found only for subordinate-rated intentions to stay. Contrary to hypotheses that underraters would have subordinates with the most positive attitudes and outcomes (e.g., Amundsen & Martinsen, 2014; Van Velsor, Taylor, & Leslie, 1993), the current study found greater support for a congruency effect. Specifically, subordinates reported the highest intentions to stay when both managers and subordinates rated managers’ people managing behaviors highly. Culture and subordinate tenure were found to moderate the SOA-subordinate outcome relation; Although greater support was found for congruent self- and subordinate-ratings, the magnitude and direction of effects differed across variables and samples. Implications and future directions are discussed.