Can public relations improve the workplace? Measuring the impact of stewardship on the employer-employee relationship

Richard D. Waters, Denise Sevick Bortree, Natalie T.J. Tindall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to use relationship management theory to measure the impact of relationship cultivation on the employer-employee relationship. Specifically, the paper examines how well Kelly's (2001) conceptualization of stewardship can impact internal stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach: Through intercept surveys of 421 adults, the paper used existing scales to measure dimensions of the employer-employee relationship and the participants' perceptions of stewardship in the workplace. Findings: This study found that the four dimensions of stewardship significantly impact feelings of trust, commitment, satisfaction, and balanced power between the employer and the employee. Additionally, increased use of stewardship resulted in increased involvement by employees. Practical implications: The results of the paper offer several specific suggestions employers can do to communicate more effectively with their employees so that they are not only more informed but also feel more positively about the relationship they have with the employer. Originality/value: Original stewardship scales were developed for the paper so that they can be tested in domains outside the nonprofit sector, where they have been routinely tested with donors and volunteers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-629
Number of pages17
JournalEmployee Relations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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