ABSTRACT

Introduction Based on two ethnographic studies in the learning and skills sector, this chapter examines the expectations raised by management rhetoric on valuing employees and employees’ experiences of being valued. In this context, the notion of ‘feeling valued’ (White and Mackenzie-Davey, 2003) aims to capture an individualized, positive, emotional response to the praise or recognition of others, and in particular those viewed as organizational leaders, which is not about job satisfaction (e.g. Wright, Cropanzano and Bonett, 2007), or followership (e.g. Collinson, 2006), or organizational commitment (e.g. van Knippenberg and Sleebos, 2006), but is at the same time more personal and more transitory. It is seen as arising from a moment-by-moment, real-time expression of value for some ability or quality which the recipient considers to be important, and to reside in a sense of the fairness or appropriateness of such expressions.