The search for effective feedback: moving beyond numbers
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- Master of Science 
The purpose of this exploratory study was to move towards filling a gap in literature about effective feedback, specifically, how it is defined and what elements contribute to how the giver and receiver of feedback perceives effectiveness of feedback. Organisations generally accept that feedback is an important part of workplace behaviour and as such feedback has attracted a great deal of attention from researchers. Unfortunately, research is largely inconclusive and ambiguous as to what exactly defines effective feedback. It is also uncertain whether or not academia’s impression of effective feedback is congruent with employee perceptions, and how this agrees with current organisational practices. Due to these uncertainties, as well as the predominance of quantitative studies on feedback, the authors opted for an exploratory research design taking the form of semi-structured interviews with both feedback givers and receivers at organisations in Norway. Our findings were varied and address several dimensions of the feedback process, and the authors present seven of their nine emerging themes in an integrated model which possibly will contribute to understanding the complexity of giving and receiving feedback. From this, it appears that feedback and its effectiveness cannot be isolated from its context and the people involved, which accounts for at least some of the inconsistencies in research, as well as the difficulties in establishing one universal definition. At its core, perceptions of effective feedback are subjective and dependent on several factors, which make generalisations elusive. However, some trends and themes were identified, and these illustrate important key points about feedback that can be useful to practitioners and scholars alike. Moreover, the current research demonstrates that employees are passionate about and desire high quality feedback, which emphasizes the value of examining feedback in a continuously evolving society.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Psychology - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2018