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Managers' communication styles and employees' job satisfaction: A quantitative study

Dissertation
Author: Aubrey G. Butts
Abstract:
The major purpose of this study was to add to the research of management communication in organizations by examining the effect of a manager's communication style on subordinates' perceived job satisfaction. Other purposes were to determine (a) if there is a statistically significant relationship between supervisors' perceived communication styles (telling, selling, consulting, and joining) and employee job satisfaction and (b) if employees perceive supervisors as having various communication styles (telling, selling, consulting, and joining) that affect their job satisfaction. Study data were obtained by distributing two survey instruments. The Management Communication Style (MCS) Scale developed by Richmond and McCroskey (1979) was used to measure the Independent Variable (IV) of managers' communication styles. The Job In General (JIG) scale, an 18-item instrument developed by Ironson, Smith, Brannick, Gibson, and Paul (1989), was used to evaluate the Dependent Variable (DV) of employee job satisfaction. The population selected for the study included 627 members of a U.S. governmental organization. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted to determine the relationship of each MCS with employee job satisfaction. The findings indicate that almost half of the respondents currently work under a consult type MCS, while many others worked under a sell type MCS. However, management communication style was not found to be significant with the job satisfaction of employees, and no specific style could lead to a consistently high job satisfaction rate from employees. It was observed that none of the MCS variables were significant with job satisfaction.

vi Table of Contents Acknowledgments......................................................................................................v List of Tables .............................................................................................................x CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION .........................................................................................1 Background of the Study ...........................................................................................2 Statement of the Problem ...........................................................................................3 Purpose of the Study ..................................................................................................5 Research Questions ....................................................................................................5 Hypothesis..................................................................................................................5

Significance of the Study ...........................................................................................5 Definition of Terms....................................................................................................7 Assumptions and Limitations ....................................................................................10 Nature of the Study ....................................................................................................10 Organization of the Remainder of the Study .............................................................11 CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW ..............................................................................12 Introduction ................................................................................................................12 Review of Investigated Varibles ................................................................................13 Management Communication Styles .........................................................................13 Job Satisfaction of Employees ...................................................................................14 Importantance of Measuring Job Satisfaction............................................................16

Complication of communication in a leader-subordinate relationship ......................17

Communication Effectiveness ...................................................................................17

vii Communication Effectiveness ...................................................................................17 Leadership ..................................................................................................................18

United States Army ....................................................................................................19 Transformational and Transactional Leadership Styles .............................................20 Ambiguity of the Transformational Leadership Style ...............................................24 Transactional Leadership Styles ................................................................................26

United States Army ....................................................................................................30

Communication Content ............................................................................................30

Unambiguous Communication ..................................................................................32 Unambiguous Communication ..................................................................................32 Communicating with Diverse Workgroups ...............................................................33 Communicating with a Mutigenerational Workforce ................................................37 Baby Boomers ............................................................................................................38 Generation X ..............................................................................................................40 Millennial Generation ................................................................................................40 Correlation between Communication Satisfaction and Job Performance ..................41 Factors of Communication Satisfaction .....................................................................45 Measures of Organizational Communication ............................................................45 Path-Goal Leadership Theory ....................................................................................46 Leader-Member Exchange Theory (LMX) ................................................................48 Similarities and Differences LMX in LMX and Path-Goal Theories ........................49 Equity Theory ............................................................................................................51

viii Summary ....................................................................................................................52 CHAPTER 3. METHODOLOGY ........................................................................................55 Introduction ................................................................................................................55 Research Design.........................................................................................................54 Sample........................................................................................................................54 Independent Variable .................................................................................................55

Dependent Variable ...................................................................................................55

Instrumentation / Measures ........................................................................................55

Management Communication Style Scale .................................................................55

Job in General Scale...................................................................................................56

Data Collection ..........................................................................................................58 Data Analysis .............................................................................................................59 Validity and Reliability ..............................................................................................60 Internal Reliability of Instument ................................................................................60 Ethical Considerations ...............................................................................................60

Summary ....................................................................................................................61

CHAPTER 4. RESULTS ......................................................................................................62 Population and Sample ..............................................................................................62 Pretesting Surveys ......................................................................................................66 Data Analysis .............................................................................................................67 Correlations to Other Studies .....................................................................................72

Summary of Findings .................................................................................................74

ix CHAPTER 5. DISCUSSION, IMPLICATIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS .......................75 Introduction ................................................................................................................75

Dicussion....................................................................................................................75

Summary of Findings .................................................................................................78

Implications for Managers .........................................................................................79

Recommendations for Future Research .....................................................................80

Concluding Remarks ..................................................................................................82

REFERENCE .........................................................................................................................85 APPENDIX A. SURVEY .....................................................................................................92 APPENDIX B. JOB IN GENERAL SCALE SURVEY .....................................................95 APPENDIX C. SURVEY LETTER .....................................................................................95

APPENDIX C. SURVEY INSTRUCTION .........................................................................96 APPENDIX D. SURVEY INITIAL E-MAIL ......................................................................97

APPENDIX E. FOLLOW- UP E-MAIL ..............................................................................97

APPENDIX F. INFORMATION PAPER ............................................................................100

APPENDIX G. INFORMED CONSENT FORM ................................................................102

APPENDIX H. JIG PERMISSION ......................................................................................104

APPENDIX I. MCS PERMISSION .....................................................................................105

x List of Tables Table 1. Leadership Style Comparison .................................................................................22

Table 2. Frequency Counts and Percentages for Demographic Variables ............................72

Table 3. Frequency Counts and Percentages for MCS Variables .........................................74

Table 4. Descriptive Statistics for Job Satisfaction ..............................................................75 Table 5. ANOVA Results Between MCS and Job Satisfaction ............................................76 Table 6. ANOVA Results Between Demographics and Job Satisfaction .............................76

xi

List of Figures

Figure 1. Survey completion rate by gender .........................................................................64 Figure 2. Survey completion rate by age ...............................................................................65 Figure 3. Survey completion rate by race .............................................................................66 Figure 4. Survey completion rate by Pay Grade ...................................................................67

1

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION

According to Pandey and Garnett (2006), most organizations place a high value on effectiveness. One of the key vehicles to reach organizational effectiveness is the ability of a leader to communicate employee purpose and direction to subordinates. Communication is defined as the exchange of information between people, by means of speaking, writing, or using a common system of signs or behavior (O’Hair, Fredrick, & Dixon, 2005). Pandey and Garnett (2006) proposed that organizations should view communication as an indicator of the organization’s health. Organizational effectiveness is a “key competency of leadership and the ability to communicate tasks into measurable actions” (O’Hair et al., 2005, p. 39). In successful organizations, leaders do not simply communicate. Leaders in successful organizations communicate in styles desired by the workforce, thereby leading to satisfied employees. Leaders of successful organizations understand the direct correlation between job satisfaction of the workforce and profitability, as it relates to recruitment of qualified workers, retention of trained employees, and the cultivation of human capital (Lussier & Achua, 2004). The primary function of communication in the professional environment is to transmit and exchange information to accomplish organizational goals and objectives (Lussier & Achua, 2004; O’Hair et al., 2005; Pandey & Garnett, 2006). Organizations are often comprised of employees from diverse populations, who bring “different goals, backgrounds, styles, habits, and preferences to the process” (O’Hair et al., 2005, p. 5). Manager-employee communication requires an understanding of power structure and

2 power sharing and must incorporate sensitivity to their differentiation in order to maximize productivity. Power sharing and communication require positive and constructive relationships between managers and employees, which enhance productivity, creativity, teamwork, and agreeability. These attributes are facilitated through communication of common interests, common needs, and the satisfaction of those needs by the managers Use of an effective communication style imparts understanding of the commonalities of goals and objectives in leader-employee relationships. O’Hair et al. (2005) concluded that the exchange of information between people is an “interactive communication process” (p. 5). This interactive communication process is described as shared meanings and mutual understandings resulting from senders and receivers interpreting messages in the same manner, influenced by the delivery or style of the sender of information (Pandey & Garnett, 2006).

Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1958) outlined four management communication styles that increase employee job satisfaction and enhance the interactive process. These styles are “tell, sell, consult, and join” (p. 362). Each of these four communication styles produces different reactions from employees and ultimately has an influence on job satisfaction. Tell, sell, consult, and join communication styles are explored in this study to determine their impact on employee job satisfaction in organizations.

3 Background of the Study Muchinsky (1977) hypothesized that “one of the most elusive organizational variables is that of communication, because organizational communication is such a dynamic phenomenon, it continues to be a difficult concept to measure” (p. 592). The communication styles managers use to deliver an organization’s message are a subset of those elusive organizational variables and are equally difficult to measure. The manager’s knowledge of how communication is received by subordinates is essential when creating productive and lasting relationships between management and employees. Appropriate communication styles are paramount to the success of organizations because they have a direct impact on the job satisfaction of employees. Pettit, Goris, and Vaught’s (1997) study of 302 employees at two manufacturing firms illustrated the direct association between communication and job satisfaction. The study reported a relationship between communication styles of telling, selling, consulting, or joining and work performance and job satisfaction. Furthermore, these researchers demonstrated predictors of job satisfaction relating to communication were “accuracy of information, desire for interaction, communication load, trust in superior, influence of superior, and satisfaction with communication” (p. 81). Each of the four communication styles described by Pettit, Goris, and Vaught required a style of deliverance. Richmond and McCroskey (2000)

explain that supervisors use one of the “four communication styles of telling, selling, consulting or joining to produce productive satisfied employees” (p. 359).

4 Statement of the Problem Effective communication between management teams and subordinates is essential to the productivity of organizations. However, there exists a noticeable need to examine organizational communication and how communication styles of management teams affect employee job satisfaction (Roberts & O'Reilly, 1979). Job performance and employee job satisfaction are predictors of the profitability and life of an organization (Richmond & McCroskey, 2000). A considerable amount of research concerning communication and employee job satisfaction has been published. However, very few studies have analyzed a productive culture in an organization that results in employee perception of being valued and satisfied with their jobs, based on the communication style of their leaders. The culture and climate created by leaders’ communication styles determine whose voices among the employees are heard, and at what level of intensity those voices are considered. Communication styles of management give a voice to the employee in the daily operations of organization and produce cohesive cultures in organizations (Bhagat, 1982; Clampit & Downs, 1993; Fisher, 1980). Employee job satisfaction is closely linked to communication styles and how the styles of each manager either increase or diminish job satisfaction in the workplace. The Similarity/Attraction Theory explains that there are barriers to communication based on schemas and bias in cognitive development (Pitts, 2003). The imprint of how the world is “viewed by others can be seen and correlated to the acceptance of each individual” (p. 5). The LMX theory and Path-Goal Leadership Theory are based on social exchanges between superiors and subordinates and support the use of different

5 communication styles by management teams to increase job satisfaction among subordinates. Richmond and McCroskey (2000) hypothesized the difficulties of researching the positive relationship between employee job satisfaction and managers’ communications styles and found only a moderate relation. Richmond and McCroskey estimated that the measure of quality and quantity of output based on communication is not clear. Although the research linking communication and job satisfaction is abundant, what is absent is an investigation of the relationship and moderating influences of managers’ communication styles on employee job satisfaction.

Purpose of the Study The following questions will guide the study: 1. Is there a statistically significant relationship between supervisors’ perceived communication styles (telling, selling, consulting, and joining) and the job satisfaction of employees? 2. Do employees perceive supervisors as having various communication styles (telling, selling, consulting, and joining) that affect their job satisfaction? From the above questions, the following hypotheses will be offered: 1. There is a statistically significant relationship between supervisors’ perceived communication styles (telling, selling, consulting, and joining) and the job satisfaction of employees. 2. As a whole, employees will perceive supervisors as having various communication styles that affect their job satisfaction. All four

6 communication styles (telling, selling, consulting, and joining) will be represented in the sample.

Significance of the Study The current study will benefit leaders, managers, and governmental organizations that seek to recognize the twenty-first century workforce as a melting pot of global cultures. There are challenges to recognizing methods of communication in order to express intent and outcome of organizational objectives and develop strategies for cohesive and productive work environments. The salient components addressed here are (a) communication styles desired by leaders to improve employee job satisfaction in organizations, (b) advantages of recognizing desired communication styles by management teams, and (c) advantages for management teams to know and use desired communication styles with respect to employee job satisfaction and productivity. Governmental organizations must consider communication styles in their strategic plans in order to compete in the new economy. Many organizations have approaches to workforce management that have remained consistent for many years. The dynamics and demographics of the workforce have changed and will continue to become more diverse. Governmental organizations realize that the human resource market is finite as technology advances, and workforce job satisfaction remains essential to productivity, retention, and recruitment of skilled workers in organizations. Given these facts, the organizational paradigm of a static workforce must shift to develop the communication skills that produce positive results for management teams in order to remain competitive in the global market (Johnstone & Packer, 1993).

7 Communication will remain the key factor for all leaders who must formulate a vision and strategy that will allow them to transmit goals and objectives to the workforce. These goals can be accomplished in new technology-driven organizations that are manned by more productive and satisfied employees. Some experts argue that organizations must abandon their outmoded hierarchical and authoritarian styles of leadership that simply dictate orders (Johnstone & Packer, 1993). Understanding the nature of communication styles and the relationship to job satisfaction is difficult. Over five decades, industrial and organizational psychologists have been struggling with the question of the relationship between communication and job satisfaction to advise professionals in their efforts to improve job design and work organization. Although ambiguous and complex, the relationship between communication styles and job satisfaction continues to stimulate research and re- examination of previous attempts (Yukl, 1999). This study attempts to describe the relationship between communication styles and job satisfaction, concentrating on the value this relationship has for organizations.

Definition of Terms Baby Boomers - People born between 1943 and 1960 (Kupperschmidt, 2000). Back channel communication - Communication that travels in parallel or ahead of formal channels of communication in organizations (Pettit, Goris, & Vaught, 1997). Communication style - The distinctive and identifiable form in which messages are passed from one person to another (Richmond, 1979).

8 Culture - Learning process that results in members of one group being different from others in customs, organization of life, and assumptions of family, government, economic system, and humanity; culture is the content of a group’s reality (Miller & Kazt, 2002). Cultural humility - An attitude of respect when approaching people from different cultures, which entails engagement in a process of self-reflection and self-critique requiring an ability to move beyond one’s own biases (Miller & Kazt, 2002). Diverse workforce - The demographics of employees and needed skill sets at all levels (Miller & Kazt, 2002). Ethnic identity - Refers to people who share a common nationality, culture, or language (Miller & Kazt, 2002). Generation - An identifiable group that shares birth years, age, location, and significant life events at critical developmental stages (Kupperschmidt, 2000). Generation X/Xers - People born between 1960 and 1980 (O’Bannon, 2001). Horizontal communication - Communication that flows across an organization from peer to peer (Muchinsky, 1997). In-group - A social group towards which an individual feels loyalty and respect, usually due to membership in the group. The fact that one belongs to a group represents a level of belonging; membership is not set in stone (Carr-Ruffino, 2003). Inclusion - Being a part of the group, being welcomed and embraced as a member who belongs (Carr-Ruffino, 2003). Inclusive workforce - The hierarchy, culture, and climate of organizations. Individual communication - Specific to one employee at any one time.

9 Job performance - The desire, ability, and capability to do the job (Pettit, Goris, & Vaught, 1997). Job satisfaction - One's feelings or state of mind regarding the nature of their work (Muchinsky, 1997) Likert scale - Questionnaires that use simple questions and ask respondents to note their answers on numbered scales of agreement, usually 1 to 5. This format is commonly referred to as a Likert scale after Rensis Likert, the well-known industrial psychologist and economist, and it is a survey scale to measure attitudes. The scale measures the extent to which a person might agree or disagree with a phrase or question posed to them. A common scale is 1 to 5, often with 1 equal to "Strongly Disagree," to the posed question, and running through "Disagree," "Not Sure," "Agree," and finally "Strongly Agree" (5). Multiculturalism - A two-way learning and adaption process where employees from different cultures and the organization transform to some degree to embrace the culture norms and values of others (Miller & Kazt, 2002). Organizational communication - Network of channels or paths along which information must flow between members or subunits (Robbins, 2005). Out-group - Refers to anyone who is not in a specific group (Carr-Ruffino, 2003). Postindustrial economy - Describes the shift of some major industrial economies in the late twentieth century away from producing goods and toward producing services (Johnstone & Packer, 1993). Power - The ability to impose one’s will on another; one person or group of people that affect the behavior of someone else in a desired way (Robbins, 2005).

10 Power imbalance - A group with distinct power that others do not have, a key aspect that leads to discrimination (Carr-Ruffino, 2003). Privilege imbalance - A group with distinct privileges that another group does not have (Carr-Ruffino, 2003). Productivity - A measurement that includes effectiveness as well as efficiency of outcome in organizations (Johnstone & Packer, 1993). Race - Refers to differences due to observable physical features, such as skin color, hair type and color, stature, head shape and size, and other facial features (Carr- Ruffino, 2003). Team communication - Communication within one cohesive team or group Upward communication - Information flow from the lower levels of a hierarchy to the upper levels (Carr-Ruffino, 2003).

Assumptions Subjects can recognize the primary and secondary communication styles used by their managers. Subjects will answer the questions on the survey honestly.

Limitations One limitation of this study is that participants may predict its nature and bias the results. Subjects may recognize the primary and secondary communication styles used by their managers. Also, the short time period of survey administration may have a negative effect on the study. Time is a negative factor because attitudes and conditions of the work environment can change quickly. Because of the time constraints, external

11 factors, such as variables, could be skewed. The last limitation in the study is the willingness of individuals in the organization to respond honestly.

Nature of the Study Positive and constructive relationships between managers and employees enhance productivity, creativity, teamwork, and agreeability. These attributes are facilitated through communication of like interests, common needs, and satisfaction of those needs through identifying, understanding, and emphasizing the commonalities of management and employee relations. Communicating in a manager-employee association requires an understanding of power structure and power sharing that is adaptive to sensitivities of differences to maximize productivity in an organization. The research used clear comparisons in a field test to validate the instrument to ensure that participants’ biases were reduced. The researcher used 23 questions to query perceptions of communication skills and action of leaders that lead to employee job satisfaction in the organization. The data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 14 (2005).

Organization of the Remainder of the Study Chapter 1 presented the introduction and background of the problem, the purpose of the study, its significance, the research questions to be answered, definitions of terms, assumptions and limitations, the nature of the study, and a brief overview of the organization of the remainder of the study. Chapter 2 provides a literature review on leadership and communication theories. Following this theoretical framework, chapter 3

12 focuses on research methodology. Chapter 4 includes the research findings with analyses of each subset of data and population in the study. Chapter 5 includes a discussion of the results and recommendations for future studies.

13 CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction Practitioners and researchers agree that leadership is essential to the success of private and public organizations. One of the most salient attributes leaders in the new economy must attain is the ability to communicate tasks and purpose to subordinates. Much research has been conducted in the areas of communication and job satisfaction. Richmond and McCroskey (1979) asserted that there have been over 3,000 studies on the subjects. The amount of research on communication and job satisfaction suggests scholars are interested in finding a relation between communication styles and job satisfaction and how these two variables are linked to productivity in organizations. Beginning with a brief review of organizational communication and employee satisfaction in Paul McChinsky’s work, this chapter will expand on measurements and studies that explored the relationship between the two variables of employee job satisfaction and different styles of communication. This study is anchored in McChinsky’s (1977) research in which he examined the relationship between organizational climate and job satisfaction and how those variables affected promotions, nature of work, and coworker pay. Applications of McChinsky’s research on communication and job satisfaction have generated research and theoretical discussion by such scholars as Clampitt and Downs (1993), Ehlers (2003), Goris, Vaught, and Pettit (2000), Gratto (2001),

Hargie, Tourish, and Wilson (2002), Miles (1996), Pettit, Goris, and Vaught (1997), and Richmond and McCroskey (1979).

14 Review of Investigated Variables Effective communication is essential for productive organizations to remain competitive in the global economy (Vivien & Thompson, 2000). Effective communication alone is a broad term, which usually refers to two-way discussions and occurs when there are shared meanings between the sender and the receiver. Each manager in an organization has a style of communication and the effectiveness of that style can play a useful role in determining employee satisfaction. Employees may report a communication preference from leaders to feel as if they are valued members of the organization. Norton (1978) suggested individuals have different patterns and styles to communicate with others. McChinsky (1977) warned that organizational communication was a difficult phenomenon to measure; therefore, the considerations of appropriate assessment tools to conduct this study were taken into account. To investigate organizational communication, employee job satisfaction, and organizational climate, McChinsky used three different instruments. McChinsky’s study focused on 695 employees of large public utility companies. The first instrument in the study was a 36-item questionnaire that measured 16 dimensions of organizational communication. The questionnaire was rated on a 7-point Likert-type scale to show the degree of satisfaction of the employees in the study. To measure the employee’s perception of organizational climate, a 50-item questionnaire scored on a 4-point Likert type scale was used. The tool assessed interpersonal milieu, standards, affective tone towards management, organizational structure and procedures, responsibilities, and organizational identification. The last

15 instrument used in the study was the Job Description Index used to measure employee job satisfaction. The results of the study concluded that certain dimensions of communication were related to organizational climate and job satisfaction. Although concentrating on communication and its correlation to job satisfaction, the study used communication as an inclusive term. The study did not narrow the focus of communication, although well- designed tools were used to explore the relationship between communication and job satisfaction. The study would have had value added in that the scope of communication was narrowed to communication styles.

Management Communication Styles Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1958) outlined four management communication styles that increase employee job satisfaction and enhance the interactive process. These styles are telling, selling, consulting, and joining (p. 362). Each of these four communication styles produced different reactions from employees and ultimately has an influence on job satisfaction. Telling, selling, consulting, and joining communication styles are explored in this study to determine their impact on employee job satisfaction in organizations.

Job Satisfaction of Employees Job satisfaction exceeds the way a person evaluates work in general as it is related to attitudes towards a particular job (Blood, 1969) or feelings of worth resulting only from occupational achievement (Pritchard & Karasick, 1973). Locke (1976) defined job

2 satisfaction as “a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from an appraisal of one's job or job experiences” (p. 1300). Hackman and Oldham (1975) inferred job satisfaction from employees’ affective reactions to their job in their Job Characteristics Model. Both definitions display the complexity that researchers face in studying variables of job satisfaction. Although researchers may disagree on the definition of job satisfaction, there are agreements that employee job satisfaction affects productivity in organizations (Landy, 1978). Job satisfaction is the foundation for influencing the follower to accomplish organization goals or to facilitate change in an organization. Studies have examined job satisfaction in the context of harm to the organization; however, the degree of employee satisfaction may have other implications outside the workplace, which may influence their decision to remain in the organization. Research by Lim (2007) explored how factors in employees’ work lives may contribute to their well- being and job satisfaction. Lim (2007) examined the job satisfaction of library information technology (IT) workers in relation to demographic, socioeconomic, and work-related variables, such as a sense of belonging, faith in wanting to belong, a feeling of acceptance, paying dues, job autonomy, the broker's role, and promotion opportunities. The study surveyed 220 IT workers at 30 universities. The subjects in the study were members of the Association of Research Libraries in the United States. The objective of the study was to examine why some IT employees were more satisfied with their jobs than others were, which contributed to improved quality of their work lives. Lim used the Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) to measure the job satisfaction concept. The Perceived Cohesion Scales (PCS) developed by Bollen and Hoyle (Date) were used to measure sense of belonging in the

3 organization. To assess the different aspects of job autonomy, the researchers used the Job Characteristic Inventory (JCI) developed by Sims, Szilagyi, and Keller (Date). Males in the study made up 52% of the population while females were 48% of the population. All but 10.2% of the population in the study had less than a college degree, 27.4% held Bachelor's degrees, 52% held a Master’s, and 3% held a Ph.D. This study found that salary, a sense of belonging, faith in wanting to belong, a feeling of acceptance, job autonomy, and promotion due to technical expertise were positively related to job satisfaction. Among the work-related variables, a feeling of acceptance and perceptions regarding workers' technical expertise as the opportunities for position advancement were particularly important factors affecting the job satisfaction of library IT workers.

Importance of Measuring Job Satisfaction Balzer, Kihm, Smith, Irwin, and Bachiochi (2000) surmised that job satisfaction reflects “feelings a worker has about his or her job or job experiences in relation to previous experiences, current expectations, or available alternatives” (p. 7). They concluded that employees have different views of their job as it relates to the total work experience. Since the study of the Western Electric Company study in the 1920s job satisfaction has become one of the more studied topics in organizational psychologyand job satisfaction has remained a major concern of both practitioners and researchers. Balzer et al. (2000) outlined three salient reasons for the interest in job satisfaction by managers, supervisors, human resource administrators, work psychologists, and management consultants. Those three salient reasons were

4 humanitarian, economic, and theoretical. From the humanitarian prospective, supervisors want employees to be satisfied with their employment because job satisfaction is related to life satisfaction and mental and physical health. Economic reasons were based on the willingness of management to invest time and money to increase satisfaction, leading to reduced absenteeism, decreased turnover, and fewer accidents. In many cases, management teams introduce strategies to improve "climate, increase communication, clarify job duties, increase effectiveness of incentives, encourage long-range planning, and attain other goals” of their workforce (Balzer et al., 2000, p. 43). In most theories of work motivation and work behavior, job satisfaction is a principal concept. Job satisfaction behavior is viewed as cause and consequence of employees and managers’ behavior attending work, maintaining quality standards, seeking improvement work methods, and cooperating with other employees, because the behavior leads to rewards from the supervisor (Balzer et al., 2000).

Complications of Communication in a Leader-Subordinate Relationship Hopkins and Hopkins (1994) explained the complications of communication in a leader-subordinate relationship. They described a nine-step process as interactive communication. The components of the interactive communication process are “messages, sources, encodings, channels, decoding, receivers, feedback, noises, and shared meanings” (p. 6). The messages were categorized as the content of communication with others. Messages are expressed in written, verbal, and nonverbal forms. The source of origin is the original transmitted message. The source constructs

5 the message and determines the message as well as the best method of transmission (Hopkins & Hopkins, 1994). Encoding is the process of organizing parts of the sender’s message. When using verbal communication, encoding is the choice of words, though nonverbal cues such as facial and body movements can give the message more meaning (O’Hair et al., 2005). Media, which refer to how the message is carried once it is encoded, are the channels. A number of these media are live meetings, “one-on-one interaction, group meetings, on- line chats, letters, memos, email, faxes, Web pages, telephone calls, and video conferencing” (O’Hair et al., 2005, p. 6). Receipt of the message is an indication of whether communication has occurred. O’Hair et al., (2005) explained that the “destination of the message is the receiver” (p. 6). The message can be transmitted, but if it is not received, communication has not taken place. Receivers are the people who pick up the message regardless of the sender’s intentions. Advances in communication have made the unintentional receipt of messages more likely. This fact has made communication more difficult for organizational leaders trying to maintain secrecy (O’Hair et al., 2005). After the message is received, the receiver must decode the encoded message if he is to have a usable meaning. This process in interactive communication is considered decoding. Decoding is how the receiver makes sense of the message. Decoding messages from the channels may have positive or negative outcomes. Communication outcome can influence different factors, such as “cultural backgrounds, listening abilities, and attitudes towards the source or channel” (O’Hair et al., 2005, p. 9).

Full document contains 123 pages
Abstract: The major purpose of this study was to add to the research of management communication in organizations by examining the effect of a manager's communication style on subordinates' perceived job satisfaction. Other purposes were to determine (a) if there is a statistically significant relationship between supervisors' perceived communication styles (telling, selling, consulting, and joining) and employee job satisfaction and (b) if employees perceive supervisors as having various communication styles (telling, selling, consulting, and joining) that affect their job satisfaction. Study data were obtained by distributing two survey instruments. The Management Communication Style (MCS) Scale developed by Richmond and McCroskey (1979) was used to measure the Independent Variable (IV) of managers' communication styles. The Job In General (JIG) scale, an 18-item instrument developed by Ironson, Smith, Brannick, Gibson, and Paul (1989), was used to evaluate the Dependent Variable (DV) of employee job satisfaction. The population selected for the study included 627 members of a U.S. governmental organization. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted to determine the relationship of each MCS with employee job satisfaction. The findings indicate that almost half of the respondents currently work under a consult type MCS, while many others worked under a sell type MCS. However, management communication style was not found to be significant with the job satisfaction of employees, and no specific style could lead to a consistently high job satisfaction rate from employees. It was observed that none of the MCS variables were significant with job satisfaction.