Date of Award

1993

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Second Advisor

Paul H. Denton

Third Advisor

Bethany C. Jackson

Abstract

Problem. The study explored the health of organizational communication at an urban regional commuter campus of a midwestern university through use of Communication Climate, System-Semantic, and Episodic Communication Channels in Organizations (ECCO) methodologies. This combination of methodologies formed an internal audit of communication processes at the University (Spring 1992). The effectiveness of communication within the University after a 20-year period of significant internal change was studied.

Method. Climate methodology measured Trust, Participative Decision-Making, Supportiveness, Openness, Listening, and Performance Goals aspects and a Composite Climate through written surveys with Faculty, Clerical and Service staff, and Administrative/Professional groups. System-Semantics methodology utilized (1) phone interviews to identify channels of communication in use and establish predictor valences (Grapevine Profile), and (2) written surveys to measure affective associations (System-Semantics Profile) in regard to selected lines of communication. Student, Faculty, Clerical/Service, Administrative/Professional groups were included. ECCO methodology measured utilization of lines of communication along functional and scalar dimensions. Serial administration of three written surveys among the Administrative/Professional group relative to message receipt, accuracy, source, flow, medium, and locus were conducted.

Results. Climate methodology revealed four significant differences among the Faculty and Clerical and Service staff groups (three aspects and the Composite). Supportiveness Climate was negatively evaluated, whereas Concern for High Performance Goals Climate was positively evaluated. System-Semantics methodology revealed 19 primary channels of communication with negative valences. Channels selected for further study had neutral affective associations. One bipolar adjectival pair was found to significantly differ in use between the Student andthe Clerical and Service staff groups. Four bipolar adjectival pairs on the survey instrument were revealed as significant. ECCO methodology revealed three significant differences (flow) among functional areas and scalar levels and two significant differences (receipt, accuracy) at scalar levels of the Administrative/Professional staff in some messages.

Conclusion. All methodologies were found appropriate to this study of a University's organizational communication. The study provided the University Administration with an internal communication review and its members with an avenue for expression. Implementing recommendations of the study could enhance the University's advancement and development.

Subject Area

Communication in education, Universities and colleges--Departments, Communication in personnel management

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