Organization

endicott college

Project Description

analysis of classroom practices of undergraduate business professors when teaching oral communication skills

Project Abstract

Business professionals are acutely aware of the importance of excellent oral communication skills. Rader and Wunsch (1980) found that as business professionals move up through the ranks of management they spend fifty percent more time speaking than in any other management activity. Not only do they spend more time speaking, but their oral communication is seen as more vital to their success than other skills such as writing. Much research has been conducted over the last 20 years linking oral communication skills to success in ones career (Estes, 1979). Curiously, although business professionals spend much of their time speaking and they view it as directly linked to their success, many still rate oral communication as one of the most difficult aspects of their job (Reinsch and Shelby, 1997).
Business professionals, hiring managers and recruiters have a keen appreciation of the important role oral communication plays in ones career success. It may not be surprising then to learn that this is a skill they feel all college graduates should possess. A nationwide survey conducted jointly in 1988 by the American Society of Training and Development and the Department of Labor found that employers ranked oral communication skills and problem-solving abilities within the top five skills required of potential hires. Maes, Weldy and Icenogle (1997) surveyed 354 business managers and found that competency in oral communication was ranked in the top five by 231 respondents and received the largest weighted score. Another study also in 1997 looked at hiring manager’s views regarding communication skills and found that 98.3% indicated either “Strong Agreement” or “Agreement” with the statement that oral and nonverbal communication skills significantly impact hiring decisions. The study further corroborates the finding that higher level positions “require more effective communication skills.” The respondents were asked to report whether job applicants displayed adequate communication skills and compared to overwhelming agreement that the skills were important, only 59.68% of respondents indicated agreement that current job applicants demonstrated adequate communication skills. (Peterson, 1997). Personnel Interviewers perceptions of the importance
There is evidence that students are increasingly aware of the link between oral communication competency and success in the workplace. Reinsch and Shelby (1996) interviewed students with an average of 3.3 years work experience who were entering the Georgetown University MBA program and found that their most challenging “workplace episodes were oral events, most of which required the creation or transmission of information.” Oral case exams in marketing pg 26 The students wanted to improve their abilities in a wide range of oral communication areas such as self-confidence, poise, explanatory skills, situational analysis and persuasion. Reinsch and Shelby suggest that students want to develop these skills because it is a real need in the business world.

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