Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication, Department of


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A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Human Sciences (Leadership Studies), Under the Supervision of Professor Gina S. Matkin. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2011

Copyright 2011 Peggy M. Rupprecht


This qualitative phenomenological study explored the beliefs of 12 public relations practitioners’ about the construct of immensely satisfying work. The central research question was: What is the meaning of immensely satisfying work for a group of public relations practitioners working in the Midwest? Participants in this study had three or more years of experience as public relations practitioners, were members of, or affiliated with, a professional public relations organization, such as the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and had experienced, at some time during their professional careers, immensely satisfying work. Eight themes emerged from the semi-structured interviews: Leader Sets the Tone, Making a Difference, Trust/Respect, Recognition, Community, Teamwork, Autonomy, and Personal Growth. For these public relations practitioners, the essence of immensely satisfying work involved complete engagement in their work experiences or their work environments – spiritually, socially, intellectually, and emotionally. Participants experienced immensely satisfying work when an enlightened leader and/or a progressive organizational culture supported them. Implications and future research were also explored.

Advisor: Gina S. Matkin