Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Communication - Corporate Communication



First Advisor

Caryn Medved

Second Advisor

Minna Logemann


The Millennial generation has become one of the largest groups in the workplace and reports needing constant feedback from their supervisors. However, previous research has suggested that while Millennials desire feedback, they only want it to be positive. This research study examined the critical incidents of negative feedback that Millennials employees and supervisors recall receiving and giving. The study consisted of a qualitative survey with multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The sample comprised of 61 respondents who identified as a Millennial – born between 1981-2000 and between the ages of 22-41 – and full-time employees, the equivalent of 35 or more hours a week. Results show that Millennial employees are open to hearing negative feedback but want to receive it with empathy and concrete evidence to support it. For Millennial supervisors, the results indicated that while they feel anxious giving their employees negative feedback, they do so to help their careers. Millennials are open to negative feedback. Understanding how to provide it to them is crucial for the future of the workplace.


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