ERIC Number: ED212021
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Rhetorically Sensitive Supervisory Communication: A Situational Analysis.
Ward, Steven A.
A study examined whether rhetorical sensitivity--a goal-directed way of thinking about communication, emphasizing rhetorical invention adapted to both audience and situation--was practiced and useful in supervisory communication. Data were collected from two manufacturing plants, three libraries, and two hospital nursing departments. The first-line supervisors completed measures of their rhetorical sensitivity, while their subordinates and superiors (managers) supplied ratings of satisfaction with supervision. The superiors also rated the leadership qualities of the supervisors. The data showed a significant, positive relationship between supervisors' tendencies toward rhetorical sensitivity and subordinates' satisfaction with supervisors, but not between supervisors' rhetorical sensitivity and their managers' satisfaction with supervisors' performance. There were significant differences across the different organizational settings: rhetorical sensitivity was helpful in a nonunionized manufacturing plant, harmful in an unionized manufacturing plant, and irrelevant in the nursing departments and libraries. The highest average scores for rhetorical sensitivity were recorded by supervisors in the libraries and nursing departments. Overall, the study showed that the concept of rhetorical sensitivity in supervisory communication was determined in large part by organizational situation. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communicator Style; Interpersonal Communication; Rhetorical Sensitivity
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (67th, Anaheim, CA, November 12-15, 1981).