Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Rebecca Hawthorne


Organizational Leadership


Researchers and practitioners identify social support as an important part of organizational culture, contributing to an environment of psychological well-being and employee engagement. However, social support has been defined and measured inconsistently across studies. The purpose of this study was to explore the construct of coworker discretionary support (CDS), the support that peers offer voluntarily to help coworkers meet job challenges. Using a mixed methodological approach, I examined the types of CDS that employees experience and its value and meaning. I created a measure of CDS and examined the relationship between CDS and engagement as well as the impact of a style preference, relationship-orientation, on the CDS – engagement relationship. The results indicate that CDS is a valuable job resource and is significantly related to work engagement, regardless of how relationship-oriented an employee is. The final CDS instrument is a reliable method that researchers and organizational leaders may use in future research and to assess social support in an organization’s environment.