Document Type

Article

Department

Communication Studies

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair

Stuart Schwartz

Primary Subject Area

Business Administration, General; Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations; Sociology, Organizational; Psychology, Industrial; Sociology, Theory and Methods

Keywords

BB&T, positive work environment, q-methodology, relationships, structuration

Disciplines

Business | Communication | Human Resources Management | Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Organizational Communication | Place and Environment | Work, Economy and Organizations

Abstract

The professional workplace is an environment prone to both jubilation and disdain. Research indicates that employees in a more positive work environment are more productive and satisfied in their work. Understanding the contributing factors to a positive work environment is the first step to creating a more satisfying workplace for employees. These contributing factors may be material or relational and hold different levels of influence. Guided by the theory of structuration, this study employed a three-phased Q-methodology, including a Q-sort questionnaire, semi-structured interviews, and a cluster analysis. Participants included the employees of the Southeastern region financial institution, BB&T. Two research questions guided the study to find the contributing factors of a positive work environment in the offices of a financial institution, and the positive contributing factors that employees prefer. Results indicated an affinity for relational contributions, with material contributions being viewed as a bonus to an already existent positive work environment. A typology of the contributor to the positive work environment was developed to include four clusters of contributors to the positive work environment.