October 06, 2016

10:00-11:00 a.m.

Please note: This event is for invited researchers only.

Research is the heart of Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS), and we want to make sure that we support each other in developing high quality research. To that end, we created the Adderley Positive Research Incubator for sharing and encouraging POS-related research ideas that are at various stages of development.

Learn more about the Adderley Positive Research Incubator here and direct questions about individual sessions to Julia Lee at jooalee@umich.edu.

Positive Communication in the Workplace: Development of a 360 Assessment Tool

Talk Description:

Leaders, managers, and supervisors may want to create a more positive workplace, but they may not always know how. The challenge for scholars and practitioners, then, is to be able to provide real feedback that will help professionals make a real difference. How can we teach managers and leaders how to be extraordinary communicators who are able to promote individual and organizational thriving through their day-to-day interactions?

To answer this question, Professors Mirivel and Young are currently working together to explore ways of assessing manager’s communicative performance and providing empirically-grounded feedback to improve their daily interactions at work. In this session, they will present findings from their research on the development of a 360 assessment tool designed to measure positive communication in the workplace. The assessment is theoretically-grounded in Mirivel’s model of positive communication (Mirivel, 2014). The purpose of the instrument is to inform managers and leaders on how their communicative behaviors are perceived by others in terms of both strengths and areas for growth. Mirivel and Young will share their research from the first of an anticipated series of studies needed to refine and evaluate the tool. These initial findings are based on their item pool pilot study to explore whether the theoretically derived dimensions of positive communication (greet, ask, compliment, disclose, encourage, and listen) emerge in respondents’ ratings of their managers.


Dr. Julien C. Mirivel is Associate Professor of Speech Communication and Interim Associate Dean of Student Success at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His research focuses on positive communication. In 2014, he published “The Art of Positive Communication: Theory and Practice,” which brings research and practice together to help people improve the way they communicate. His new book, How Communication Scholars Think and Act: A Lifespan Perspective, published by Peter Lang, will be available very soon.

Dr. Amy M. Young is faculty member at the Ross School of Business and an affiliate of the Center for Positive Communications.  She teaches business communication to BBA and MBA students and her work focuses on positive organizational communication and digital communication technology.