Interpersonal Communication Skills

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Mary Bambacas and Margaret Patrickson
The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, to investigate the interpersonal communication skills that human resource (HR) managers expect managers in supervisory positions possess. Second, to identify which of these skills HR managers expect managers use to engender subordinate commitment to the organisation. Third, the paper aims to investigate what interpersonal communication skills that enhance employee commitment to the organisation are most lacking in managers in supervisory positions.

Keyword(s): Interpersonal communications; Interpersonal skills; Job satisfaction.
Over the last three
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Relationships between superiors and subordinates, horizontal and informal communication and the personal feedback dimension form the relational dimension. Each dimension considers a number of skills simulatneously. For example, the “relationship to superiors” dimension measures skills such as “openness of superiors to subordinates as well as superior's ability to listen” (Downs, 1994, p. 115). The personal feedback dimension considered “superiors” understanding of problems faced on the job and the clarity of criteria judging employees (Downs and Adrian, 2004).
It would appear that literature on communication has investigated general aspects of interpersonal communication rather than communication skills. A good example is the study by Brunetto and Farr-Wharton (2004). Brunetto and Farr-Warren investigated supervisor communication, corporate communication, personal communication and the communication climate of employees from three Australian private and public organisations.
Few articles have considered specific interpersonal communication variables (Guzley, 1992; Heffernan and Poole, 2005; Henttonen and Blomqvist, 2005; Penley and Hawkins, 1985). Penley and Hawkins for example, considered communication responsiveness of supervisors (listening and responding to issues), and personal communication (discussed personal issues with subordinate) but more variables measured what information was exchanged rather than how it was exchanged. In addition, Guzley (1992)
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