Theoretical Constituents of Relatedness Need Satisfaction in Senior Executives

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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This qualitative research interviewed 22 C-level executives to explore the theoretical constituents of relatedness need satisfaction, suggested by literature as a predictor of individuals’ motivation, behavior, and well-being, for the first time in a sample of senior executives. Joint activity, time, continuity, and common concern were identified as components of how senior executives conceptualized relatedness need satisfaction. This novel research investigated relative importance of the theoretical constituents and senior executive participants ranked common concern as the most important constituent indicator of their relatedness need satisfaction. The results are compared to Baumeister and Leary's (1995) seminal conceptualization of relatedness need satisfaction which was based on a meta-analytical approach of nonexecutive sample studies. This research has both applied and theoretical implications. Our new theory of the constituents of relatedness need satisfaction in senior executives further provides an evidence basis for the design of efficacious practical organizational applications, such as raising senior executives’ effectiveness through executive development programs focusing on common concern, joint activity, time, and continuity experiences. Our findings also provide a theoretical framework offering direction for future research in the field of senior executive psychology focused on further improving optimal functioning.