Research Background

In managerial communication, feedback is a common act that managers must do with subordinates to either encourage desired behavior or change undesired behavior (Goodson, McGee, & Seers, 1992).

Communication interference is when the intended message is not received by a receiver (Casstevens, 1979).  In part, this break down can happen because tone  of voice (Krestar & McLennan, 2013) or choice of words do not transmit the intended message in a manner that a recipient can receive and decode (Scherer, 2003).  Managers may work with speech coaches to strengthen the accuracy of their messages while providing feedback.  During this process, speech coaches may play the role of the direct report in order to provide a more realistic practice environment.  One problem is that a speech coach may be limited by their own experience or interpretation of the feedback, and therefore not provide the most effective practice environment as a role play partner. 

This study will examine the experience a direct report has while a manager is providing feedback to them during a performance review.  It will explore how subordinates are experiencing the feedback in order to provide coaches with more options when role playing with their clients.

This topic is related to the field of I/O psychology because speech coaches may be asked by corporations to help managers improve their ability to provide effective feedback (Passmore & Gibbes, 2007).  They may be asked to teach (Spaten, 2013) or encourage (Devloo, Anseel, Beuckelaer, 2011) a particular process or approach to providing feedback.   A good understanding of the experiences direct reports have when receiving feedback, may be helpful to the speech coach as he or she attempts to helping the manager they are working with to effectively communicate with the direct report (Passmore, 2009).