Getting to the “Source” of Feedback-Seeking: Impact of Feedback-Seeking on Supervisor Stress

Joe Krasman


In the workplace, feedback-seeking occurs between two parties - a seeker (e.g. subordinate) who asks for feedback and a source (e.g. supervisor) who responds. This study examines the impact of feedback-seeking on sources' role overload, role conflict, and stress. A survey was conducted of supervisors. Results showed that frequency of being sought for feedback is positively related to sources' stress. In addition, role overload, but not role conflict, fully mediated this relationship. These findings suggest that feedback-seeking may have a downside for sources. Specifically, if sources are asked for feedback too often, they may fall behind in their work and experience role overload and stress. Recommendations are put forth for preventing feedback-seeking from having a negative impact on sources.

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