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Barhite, Brittany LynnThe Effects of Virtual Leadership Communication on Employee Engagement
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Bowling Green State University, 2017, Leadership Studies
Research on employee engagement has found that it can both positively and negatively affect organizational performance, including recruitment, retention, customer service, and profitability. Hence, businesses are investigating how to increase engagement and in turn their bottom line. Several studies have concluded that effective organizational communication practices can enhance employee engagement. However, the way that information is distributed within organizations is now becoming increasingly complex with globalization. This has led to the increase use of information communication technologies (ICTs) to communicate since leaders and employees are not often in the same location. While ICTs are more efficient and cost effective, they can lead to miscommunication and lack of engagement when used to communicate important information. Based on the link between leadership communication and engagement and the increased use of ICTs in organizations, this quantitative study attempted to measure employee engagement and what, if any, relationship exists frequency of communication, richness of communication channels, quality of leader-member exchange relationship, and perceived satisfaction with organizational communication. In order to examine the relationship between these variables, 265 full-time employees completed a survey made of four instruments— Dennis Communication Climate Inventory (1974), Leader-Member Exchange-7 (1984), Communication Channel Instrument (1999), and the Schaufeli and Bakker’s (2003) Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). The results of this study revealed that perceived organizational communication satisfaction has the most significant relationship with employee engagement, followed by the quality of leader-member exchange relationship. However, the frequency of lean, moderate, and rich communication channels did not have a significant impact on employee engagement. This includes ICTs categorized within these three channels. The frequent use of the virtual technologies also did not have a significant relationship with employee engagement. However, the regression data revealed that rich face-to-face communication channels does affect organizational communication satisfaction. Finally, one of the most surprising results of the study was that being collocated with one’s manager did not affect employee engagement or organizational communication satisfaction. Therefore, as employees continue to be spatially distributed, this will not affect employee engagement compared to perceived organizational communication satisfaction and LMX.

Committee:

Chris Willis (Advisor); Raymond Schuck (Committee Member); Matthew Lavery (Committee Member); Judy Jackson May (Committee Member); Elizabeth Williams (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Organizational Behavior

Keywords:

virtual communication; employee engagement; ICTs, LMX, leader-member exchange; organizational communication satisfaction; communication; global teams; UWES; Dennis Communication Climate Inventory; LMX-7; leadership communication

Mao, YupingDoes Culture Matter? Relating Intercultural Communication Sensitivity to Conflict Management Styles, Technology Use, and Organizational Communication Satisfaction in Multinationals in China
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, 2010, Communication Studies (Communication)

Communication is very complex in multinational companies due to the diverse body of employees with different social, cultural, and educational backgrounds. Organizational communication among employees in China branches of multinational companies remains largely unexplored in previous literature. Taking an Asiacentric approach, this study examines the relationships among intercultural sensitivity, organizational communication satisfaction, organizational conflict management, and use of technologies in China branches of multinational companies. This study also compares the organizational communication experiences of Chinese employees with overseas experience and those without overseas experience.

An online survey was conducted with Chinese employees of multinational companies. Comparisons were made between those with some degree of overseas living experience and those without any overseas living experience. The survey included the Intercultural Communication Sensitivity Scale (ISS) (Chen & Starosta, 2000), a revised version of the Technology Usage Scale (TUS) (Scott & Timmerman, 2005), the Organizational Communication Conflict Instrument (OCCI) (Putnam & Wilson, 1982), and the Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ) (Downs & Hazen, 1977).The following pairs of variables were analyzed using Pearson product moment correlations: intercultural sensitivity and organizational communication satisfaction, intercultural sensitivity and conflict management styles, intercultural sensitivity and use of technologies, organizational communication satisfaction and conflict management styles, organizational communication satisfaction and use of technologies, conflict management styles and use of technologies. Significant correlations were found in the above six pairs of variables and their factors. Overall no significant differences between Chinese employees with overseas experience and those without overseas experience were found in the following key variables: intercultural sensitivity, conflict management styles, organizational communication satisfaction level, and use of technology in organizational communication. Although minor differences existed between those two groups of participants, in general, the two groups revealed similar organizational communication behavior.

This study is one of very few extant studies that focus on organizational communication in the Chinese context. This study enriches the literature on Asian organizational communication studies, and contributes to the development of the Asiacentric approach. The correlations among the variables identified by this study build the empirical foundation for future research to further develop communication models that include those variables and which will have significant theoretical and practical implications.

Committee:

Claudia Hale, PhD (Advisor); Andrew Ledbetter, PhD (Committee Member); Anita James, PhD (Committee Member); Gordon Brooks, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Organizational Behavior

Keywords:

Chinese employee; intercultural sensitivity; conflict management; organizational communication satisfaction; technology use; multinationals