ERIC Number: ED210746
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
An Exploratory Study of the Relationship between Rhetorical Sensitivity, Leadership Effectiveness, and Rank in a Military Organization.
Cahn, Dudley D.; Shulman, Gary M.
Ninety-three officers and enlisted men of the United States Army National Guard were surveyed for their communication attitudes in a study comparing rhetorical sensitivity to two organizational communication variables--leadership effectiveness (as a managerial skill) and position in an organizational hierarchy (rank). The survey measured the ways in which the subjects matched three communicator types: (1) the rhetorically sensitive person, one who generally accepts the variability of communication and interpersonal relationships and does not try to avoid stylized verbal behaviors; (2) the "noble self," one who sees any variation from personal norms as hypocritical and a denial of integrity; and (3) the "rhetorical reflector," who presents a different self for each person or situation. The results showed that subjects who scored high in rhetorical sensitivity were not rated significantly higher in leadership effectiveness than individuals who scored low in rhetorical sensitivity. However, rhetorical sensitivity did relate to rank, so that scores for rhetorical sensitivity increased across groups from enlisted men through sergeants to officers. Other results showed that sergeants tended to score higher in noble self than officers and enlisted men, but lower in rhetorical reflector than the others, while the enlisted men tended to score relatively high in both areas. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communicator Style; Interpersonal Communication