Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Terry L. Dickinson

Committee Member

Glynn D. Coates

Committee Member

Raymond H. Kirby

Committee Member

David J. Weston


The purpose of this research was to investigate the effects of training and feedback format on reactions to in-basket feedback and on in-basket performance. Performance was evaluated with a 2 (Training) x 3 (Feedback) x 2 (In-Basket) x 5 (Dimension) repeated measures factorial design. Reactions were evaluated with a 2 (Training) x 3 (Feedback) x 2 (Questionnaire) repeated measures factorial design. The Training factor was comprised of frame-of-reference training (designed to prepare the recipient to receive the feedback) and a control condition (a lecture on Mintzberg's managerial role classification system). The Feedback factor was comprised of written feedback, oral feedback, and no feedback control conditions. First- and second-level managers from the health care industry were randomly assigned to one of six experimental conditions. Each participant completed two in-baskets (one before and one after the feedback manipulation) designed to evaluate performance on five behavioral dimensions shown to characterize effective managerial performance, and two reaction measures (one after the training and feedback manipulations and one at the end of the research). The training did improve participants' reactions, because it created a more effective frame-of-reference for receiving and using the feedback. Training also resulted in better performance among participants who received feedback for the same reasons. Training did not improve motivation because many of the participants began the program highly motivated to do well. Written feedback resulted in the greatest improvement in performance because of its greater capacity to transmit the referent feedback information. Finally, there were no differences in the reactions of participants who received written feedback and those who received oral feedback. Further explanations for these findings and their implications were discussed along with suggestions for future research.


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