ERIC Number: ED232240
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
The Use of Face Support in Controlling Ineffective Performance.
Fairhurst, Gail; And Others
A study was conducted to examine the face support and control moves that occur in a manager's communication to a poorly performing subordinate over the sequence of his or her violation. Face support was defined according to the degree of approval (positive face) and the degree of freedom (autonomy) given to the poor performers to define a course of action. Seventy bank managers were interviewed about a recent employee performance problem they had attempted to control. The messages used by the managers over the time the problem occurred were coded according to the scheme devised by S. L. Kline. Cluster analysis produced two patterns of face support used by managers: (1) Direct Disapproval (criticism and reprimands) and No Autonomy (threats and orders) used from the start of the control sequence, and (2) Indirect Disapproval and Autonomy for the first action, which then was abandoned for the more punitive approach. The Indirect Disapproval consisted of questions to the subordinate as to why the problem was occurring and, to a lesser extent, castigations that assumed the subordinate was misguided or unaware. Other findings showed that performance ratings of employees were positively correlated to the level of positive face support provided, and autonomy was positively correlated with the length of time between problem reoccurrences. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Facial Expressions; Superior Subordinate Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Dallas, TX, May 26-30, 1983).