Gretchen M. Spreitzer
Ross School of Business
University of Michigan
(734) 936-2835

Related Research Interests

I am interested in how relationships can enable more meaning in work and increase feelings of empowerment. Much of my early research on was on psychological empowerment at work (an orientation where individuals experience meaning, efficacy, self-determination, and impact). Support in relationships from one’s boss, peers and subordinates was found to be critical for individuals to feel empowered. More recently, I have looked at the role of high quality relationships in several other contexts. One is though research on the reflected best self which is a feedback and development exercise where individuals request best self stories from significant others in different domains of life (family, friends, colleagues, etc.). the relational focus of this exercise helps people see unique strengths they exhibit when operating at their best that are relatively invisible or discounted before receiving the feedback.

Related Publications

  • Dutton, J.E., & Spreitzer, G. (editors). 2014. How to be a Positive Leader: Small Actions, Big Impacts. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
  • Quinn, R.E., Heynoski, K., Thomas, M., & Spreitzer, G. 2014. The Best Teacher in You: Accelerating Learning and Changing Lives. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Wellman, N., & Spreitzer, G. (2011). Crafting Scholarly Life: Strategies for Creating Meaning in Academic Careers. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32, 927-931.
  • Spreitzer, G., Stephens, J.P., & Sweetman, D. (2009). The Reflected Best Self Field Experiment with Adolescent Leaders: Exploring the Psychological Resources Associated with Feedback Source and Valence. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(5): 331-348.
  • Carmeli, A. & Spreitzer, G. (2009). Trust, Connectivity, and Thriving: Implications for Innovative Work Behavior. Journal of Creative Behavior, 43(3): 169-191.
  • Spreitzer, G. (2006). Leading to Grow and Growing to Lead. Organizational Dynamics, 35(4): 305-215.
  • Spreitzer, G., Sutcliffe, K., Dutton, J., Sonenshein, S. and Grant, A. (2005). A socially embedded model of thriving at work. Organization Science, 16(5): 537-549.