2018 Management and Organization Dissertations

Upcoming dissertation events from the Department of Management and Organization.

Eli AwtreyEli Awtrey’s Dissertation Defense
Wednesday May 23, 12:00 – 2:00p, EXEC 310.

The Microdynamics of Team Diversity and Collaboration Networks
– Eli Awtrey.


Current team diversity research is largely equivocal regarding the direct effects of intrateam differences on team processes and performance.  In response, scholars encourage a more complex and multi-level approach to understanding this phenomenon.  In this dissertation, I contribute to this effort by theorizing an emergent network approach to team diversity—that is, a dyadic and structural approach to interpersonal differences.  Given the historical and current emphasis on collective-level theories and measures of diversity in the team literature, I argue that this perspective will provide a more detailed account of the perceptions and behaviors associated with differences within teams.  Through this paradigm, I ask two interrelated research questions.  First, how does the structure of team diversity impact dyadic task-related collaboration over time within the team?  Second, how does the heterogeneity of dyadic collaboration affect team performance?  These questions are tested with a combination of archival and laboratory data using stochastic actor-oriented models (SAOMs), which enables the prediction of network evolution over time.

Jared MillerJared Miller’s Dissertation Defense
Thursday May 31, 1:00 – 3:00p, PCAR 556.

The Under-appreciation of Feeling Appreciated: Identifying and Measuring a Critical Bridge Construct
— Jared Miller.


Feeling appreciated is an important part of both individuals’ social self-perceptions and relational interchange. It undergirds a number of foundational organizational constructs; and yet, as a unique management construct, feeling appreciated is essentially unrecognized and wholly underdeveloped. Over five interrelated chapters my dissertation develops a foundation for conceptualizing, measuring and researching feeling appreciated. Results indicate that feeling appreciated reflects perceptions of the individuals’ warmth and/or competence and thus serves as a strong common thread linking numerous foundational OB concepts and constructs. Additionally, I show that feeling appreciated is an important factor driving both self-concerned and other-oriented organizational outcomes.

Trevor WatkinsTrevor Watkins Dissertation Proposal
Tuesday June 19, 11:00a – 1:00p, PCAR 556


Capitalization—the process of sharing positive events with others—provides disclosers of positive events with personal and interpersonal benefits. However, current theory has ignored characteristics of capitalization that may greatly determine its outcomes. Additionally, despite capitalization being inherently dyadic, the literature has generally neglected the role of the responder. In this thesis, I offer a more balanced view of capitalization by building theory centered on the responder and on characteristics of capitalization. Drawing from person perception theory, I suggest that when a responder attributes capitalization to an impression management (prosocial) motive, he or she is less (more) likely to perceive the discloser as warm. Also, when responders attribute capitalization to a cause internal (external) to the discloser, he or she is more (less) likely to perceive the discloser as competent. In other words, in contrast to current theory, I posit that the why and the what of capitalization are determinative.