Trends in the current literature emphasize the role of organizational context in employee performance appraisal processes (e.g., Levy & Williams, 2004; Pichler et al., 2015). Social context is a type of organizational context. Using hierarchical regression techniques and data from 138 U.S.-based employees, the study examined the social context of distributed workplace arrangements and the related implications of media richness and communication frequency in relation to leader–member exchange (LMX), procedural justice, and performance appraisal satisfaction. Research has revealed that manager–employee relationships and procedural justice perspectives positively influence performance appraisal satisfaction. However, researchers have yet to explore the impact distributed workplace arrangements have on these relationships. Workplace arrangements have changed and are increasingly more distributed, remote, and virtual. Additionally, some organizations have shifted their performance appraisal programs toward more frequent, informal, and developmental feedback approaches (Buckingham & Goodall, 2015) in the hope of achieving greater performance appraisal satisfaction. Some employees working in distributed workplace arrangements may find it more difficult to achieve performance appraisal satisfaction due to a lack of information richness and less communication frequency (Cascio, 2000; Gordon & Stewart, 2009) despite the strength of the relationship they may have with their manager and their personal justice perspectives. The study’s results suggest that a distributed workplace arrangement does not significantly weaken the relationships between LMX, procedural justice, and performance appraisal satisfaction. Advances in technology and communication enable skilled managers to overcome distributed workplace challenges and shift toward using developmental performance feedback approach for all employees.

Date of publication

Fall 11-8-2016

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Ann Gilley, Jerry Gilley, Miguel Caldas, Paul Roberts


Doctorate in Human Resources Development