Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

John Elshaw, PhD.


While feedback is an essential element of performance, there is little theory explaining the effects of negative feedback. Disagreement exists as to whether negative feedback is good or bad and this impacts its use. Fortunately, control theory provides scholars with an opportunity to better understand negative feedback and the conditions necessary to support its intended function. This study examined the relationship between negative feedback and task performance in a leadership development environment. This work asserts that performance is contingent on perceived feedback usefulness, such that the relationship is stronger when feedback usefulness is high and weaker when it is low. In addition, this research led to the creation of a new instrument to measure perceptions of feedback usefulness as an antecedent of effective feedback. Results indicate positive effects of negative feedback on performance, with moderating effects of feedback usefulness on four post-feedback tasks. Analysis also demonstrated that the newly developed feedback usefulness scale demonstrates good model fit (evaluated by confirmatory factor analysis) and strong internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s α).

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