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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Jon F. Schamber

Second Committee Member

Alan Ray


This case study investigated the quality of supervisor- employee communication and its impact on employee job satisfaction, self-esteem and trust, as well as the link to program quality in a center-based childcare setting. Three research questions guided the study with the purpose of examining communication as a means to improve job satisfaction, diminish staff turnover and strengthen program quality.

Fifteen employees from a non-profit childcare center in San Joaquin County volunteered for the study. Data was collected from face to face and telephone interviews. Transcripts of the interviews revealed three themes- feedback, active listening and supervisor support. Responses were coded and categorized by theme, and then each theme was sorted into high quality supervisor communication responses and low quality supervisor communication responses.

High quality supervisor communication was characterized by frequent and constructive feedback, self-motivation, openness and freedom to speak. The results of the study indicated high quality supervisor communication increased job satisfaction. Low quality supervisor communication was characterized by minimal feedback, the perception of favoritism, interference of work routine, low morale and increased absenteeism. The study found low quality supervisor communication hindered job satisfaction.

The results of the study indicated that high quality communication between supervisor and employee had a positive impact on job performance, job satisfaction and organizational outcomes. Feedback, active listening and support were important communication behaviors sustaining job satisfaction. Passion for children proved to be intrinsic motivation to enhance program quality. Suggestions for developing program quality are provided.



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