Exploring positive relationships in the workplace: Reconciling the multiple realities of I and we

by Lyons, Gary O., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 231 pages; 3601967


The purpose of this grounded theory study was to better understand how positive leader-follower relationships emerge and are sustained in dynamic and stressful workplaces, the ways in which those positive relationships contribute to individual and organizational health, and what barriers impede both the evolution and the subsequent contribution of those relationships. Eight exemplar individuals who had experienced positive leader-follower relationships in the work place were interviewed to understand the processes that led to the development and sustainment of those relationships. A Constructivist Grounded Theory perspective was used to analyze the data with a model of leadership-followership relationship building synthesized from that data. Four major categories emerged from interactions with the data to support the core category and form the four stages of the model. Forming, the process of bringing together and shaping the potential for new relationships, provided the foundation to initiate and sustain positive growth in workplace relationships. Deepening expands upon the foundation laid by Forming and positions the participants to shift from an I-centric to a We-centric reality. Transitioning from the state of “I might” to “We can” signals the growth from “we can work together” toward positive relationships. Transformation, changing from the simple form of “I am” to the complex “We are,” represents the co-creation of a new relationship.

AdviserShelley Robbins
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsSocial research; Management
Publication Number3601967

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