Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Human Services

Advisor

Mary Bold

Abstract

The relationship between employee loyalty and organizational performance has long been recognized but not included in performance appraisal models. This study identifies the perspectives of Master of Business Administration (MBA) candidates at a small private university in the eastern U.S. Fifteen interviews were conducted after distributing flyers among MBA classes and interested students volunteered to participate. The study was qualitative, based on personal interviews, to explore how loyalty is perceived in relation to performance. The theoretical framework used was Hogan's (1983) socioanalytic theory to explain differences in people's performance at work. Through use of a grounded theory approach, employees' perceptions on loyalty as a component of employee performance evaluation inducted to a theoretical model. This research shows, for the first time, loyalty as an expectation of performance from the perspective of individuals preparing to be future managers. The model explains the interrelationship between the suggested dimensions inducted from participants' perceptions for the purpose to assess both company and employee loyalty. The theoretical model demonstrates that a balance is needed to build a loyalty base between the company and employee loyalty that will lead to better performance. Specifically, respondents identified components of loyalty in the dimensions of integrity, flexibility, transparency support, dedication, conscientiousness, accountability, and advocacy. The model supports intuitive recognition that management behavior that creates employee loyalty also improves employee performance. The theoretical model can be used by researchers and human resource professionals to shape their quantitative research and organizational policies.