Committee Chair

Cunningham, Christopher J. L.

Committee Member

Zelin, Alexandra I.; O'Leary, Brian J.


Dept. of Psychology


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Employees’ links to organizations and coworkers represent an important factor related to many work-related constructs in the Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology literature. Often, I-O researchers conceptualize these employee links through either the number of workplace links or an employee’s perceived social support. However, these conceptualizations are potentially limited. Research into Social Network Analysis has investigated different quality dimensions in links (e.g., link strength and valence) which can significantly influence outcomes in social, workplace, and general well-being contexts. Thus, the present thesis project was undertaken to explore whether incorporating these quality dimensions of link strength and link valence adds any incremental utility to our understanding of workplace constructs. Bivariate and partial correlation analyses were used to test hypotheses. Results indicated partial support for both link strength and link valence as new constructs for measuring links.


I never really expected this project to be as challenging as it turned out to be. It is no exaggeration when I say this work would not have been possible without the help and support of several people over the last year and a half, and I would like to take some time to thank all of you. First, I want to thank my family for their understanding and support as I became increasingly distant while working on this project. I also want to thank a few alumni of the program who helped me organize my work and make progress during the data-collection stage. So, thank you to my program mentor, Chris Morgan, who has continued to check in with me even after graduating, as well as to Lisa Brady and Sofia Rodriguez. Your support and advice helped me keep my head straight throughout all the competing demands and craziness that is graduate school and thesis research. Thank you also to my friends within the I-O program for their constant support and for getting me out of my apartment every so often for some much-needed R&R. A huge thank you to Ainsley Mitchum, my mentor and one of my best friends, and Tricia Henderson, my GA supervisor, for their constant enthusiasm, empathy, and advice throughout the process. I also cannot forget to thank my committee, Dr. O’Leary and Dr. Zelin, for their advice, encouragement, and flexibility as I slowly progressed through this project. There is not room to properly thank my adviser, Dr. Cunningham. Thank you for your patience, guidance, and understanding as I struggled with more than completing deliverables and deadlines. Finally, last but certainly not least, thank you so much for everything Tracey, I would never have finished this project, much less this program, without your constant friendship, advice, and support.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Organizational effectiveness; Employee motivation; Organizational behavior; Psychology, Industrial


Relationships; Interpersonal relationships; Connections; Links; Psychology


Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Document Type

Masters theses




xiii, 123 leaves