Exploring Coworker Relationships: Antecedents and Dimensions of Interpersonal Fit, Coworker Satisfaction, and Relational Models Defended on Thursday, 10 October 2013

Management scholarship has revealed the myriad ways in which relationships between coworkers impact individual, team, and organizational phenomena. However, our scientific understanding of coworker relationships and what makes for satisfying connections with colleagues is still in its early days.

This dissertation helps advance our understanding by proposing new drivers of coworker satisfaction, unpacking the nature of coworker satisfaction itself, and examining the sources and antecedents of different types of coworker relationships. Specifically, work suggests that fit between the desired degree of warmth and competence, and their provision by a coworker will result in coworker satisfaction. The factors that influence an individual’s desired degree of warmth and competence are considered, along with factors that influence perceptions of these resources in the interpersonal environment. Further, I empirically examine coworker satisfaction as a phenomenon that a) individuals have a general tendency to experience across coworkers, b) individuals have a general tendency to evoke from their partners, and c) as a phenomenon that is relationally emergent – a unique response to a particular coworker. Beyond empirically substantiating these aspects of coworker satisfaction, personality predictors of each aspect are also identified. Finally, this dissertation examines the types of relationships that may exist between colleagues, and considers general tendencies to perceive and provoke relationship types across partners, as well as the emergence of relationship types that are partner-specific. Personality and gender predictors of general relationship tendencies and emergent relationship styles are also presented.


coworker satisfaction; coworker relationships; person-person fit; personality

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