1st Edition

Leadership, Feedback and the Open Communication Gap

By Leanne E. Atwater, David A. Waldman Copyright 2008
    176 Pages
    by Psychology Press

    176 Pages
    by Psychology Press

    The topic of leadership has grown in importance, and how and when managers communicate is critical to their effectiveness. This book provides insight for managers to understand the feedback and open communication processes. It suggests guidelines for how and when managers should engage in negative feedback and open organizational-level communication with followers, including when such feedback and information should not be shared. It also adds to the existing knowledge base pertaining to open communication on the part of managers. 

    This book will be of value to managers and practitioners involved in the practice of leadership as well as for courses on leadership, organizational behavior, human resource management and organizational communication.

    Preface.Introduction: What is Open Communication, and Why is It a Dilemma? Section1. The Open Communication Dilemma in One-to-One Communication 1. Performance Feedback and Its Effects 2. Feedback Provider and Recipient Characteristics 3. Manager as Feedback Recipient: Upward Communication 4. Solutions to the Open Communication Dilemma:Deciding When and How to Give Negative Feedback 5. Leadership and Non-Verbal Communication.Section2.The Open Communication Dilemma in Organizational Information Sharing 6. Creating an Environment of Open Communication 7. The Mushroom Theory of Leadership 8. Solutions to the Open Communication Dilemma:Deciding When and How to Share Organizational Information 9. Putting It All Together


    Leanne E. Atwater is a professor of management at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D in Social/Organizational Studies from Claremont Graduate School. Her research interests are 360 degree feedback, Leadership and Gender issues in management. Leanne was just made a Fellow of SIOP at their 2007 convention. David A. Waldman is a professor of management and Director of the Institute for International Business at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D from Colorado State University in industrial/organizational psychology. His research interests focus largely on leadership, especially at strategic levels of organizations.

    "This is an excellent book! I especially like its take-aways and the realism with which the material is presented. It held my attention so well that I read virtually all the chapters in one sitting. While holding my attention, I found the book to include a number of solid, scholarly, references, unobtrusively presented. Therefore, it should serve the needs of practitioners and college students as well as schoolars. The authors have snuck in lots of content in an easy to read format. I highly recommend it." - Jerry Hunt, Texas Tech University

    "Clearly it has relevance for leaders. If the focus is on leadership communication dilemmas, it would be appropriate for courses on leadership. If the topic is open communications more broadly, then the book would have wider applicability...for instance, in courses on organizational behavior and human resource management as well more specifically, in courses on organizational communication and leadership." - Manny London, SUNY, Stony Brook

    "This is an innovative take on an important organizational issue (communication in organizations) that is authored by two highly regarded scholars in the fields of management and leadership. As would be expected from these authors, the book is logically organized and very clearly written. The overall theme of open communication as a dilemma is innovative and provocative...this book should be attractive to practitioners as well as researchers and teachers." - David Day, Pennsylvania State University

    "Giving and receiving feedback are among the most complex and least understood leadership dilemmas confronting most managers today. This book is a treasure trove of research, ideas, case examples and practical suggestions that will enrich many class room discussions and, more importantly, equip future leaders with the insights and tools that are vital if they are to avoid the car crashes that feedback processes in most organizations have become. Clearly written, succinct and wise, this book will be vital reading in many contexts." - Dennis Tourish, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, UK

    "Drawing primarily from psychological theory, the authors provide an excellent review of key characteristics that should be taken into consideration to increase the likelihood that negative feedback will produce positive results……I found the review of literature about how feedback operates in traditional organizations to be very useful.  It represents the conceptualizations of many organization members about negative feedback;; no matter what the future of organizing holds, the role of feedback will be vital" PsycCRITIQUES:Contemporary Psychology APA Review of books, March 2009