Date of Conferral







Ethel Perry


Employees’ views on internal promotions tend to influence outcomes such as support given to the promoted employee, employee organizational commitment, and employee job satisfaction. Research on the influence of internal promotions has focused primarily on the reactions of competitive non-promoted internal candidates and those of the promoted individuals. This qualitative study investigated how employees who did not compete for a promotion adapted to a coworker being promoted to become their supervisor and how the employees described the coworker’s adaptation to the promotion. A taxonomy of adaptive performance and generic qualitative research formed the conceptual frameworks, and the leader-member exchange theory formed the theoretical framework. Written and audio-recorded semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 employees who did not compete for the supervisory position to assess the noncompetitive employees’ adaptation to the promotion and their perceived adaptation of the promoted coworker by exploring their experiences, perceptions, and attitudes regarding the promotion. Interviews were transcribed, and transcripts were analyzed using generic qualitative analysis to determine themes. Results revealed that noncompetitive employees variously adapted to their coworker’s promotion to supervisor with most having adapted well and the noncompetitive employees had mixed views about the adaptation of their promoted coworker with most having positive views about their promoted coworker’s adaptation. Positive social change elements may be valuable to organizations and rewarding to employees, as internal promotions are organizational changes that can potentially affect employee morale, productivity, and success.