Date of Award

12-1994

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield

Third Advisor

Dr. Nick Timmer

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between assertive communication training and conflict over values, goals, and demands, as well as trust, hostility, and productivity in the organization. The investigation took place at a manufacturing firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which produces wood chair frames and components for distribution worldwide. The research involved both the day and night shift employees of four "work cells" or units, each numbering three to four workers. Two work cells were randomly assigned to be trained in assertive communication. The other tw o work cells, the comparison group, were trained in preventive maintenance. Both groups of employees were surveyed prior to implementation of an 8-w eek training period and then again 1 month following the conclusion of the training. The employees were also asked to respond to related questions on a journal. Additionally, their supervisors were interviewed 1 month after the training was completed.

The t test for independent means was used to compare the group scores of the assertive communication trained employees with the preventive maintenance trained employees 1 month after the training was completed. Since the two-tailed probabilities of all six null hypotheses were greater than the alpha of .05, no conclusion could be drawn about the difference between the assertive communication trained group and the preventive maintenance trained group with respect to conflict over values, goals, and demands, as well as trust, hostility, and productivity.

The results of the journal substantiated the results of the t test that no differences were observed between the assertive communication trained and the preventive maintenance trained groups. The interviews with management suggested, too, that no firm conclusions could be drawn about the relationship between assertive communication training and conflict over values, goals, and demands, as well as trust, hostility, and productivity. However, management responses indicated a positive feeling tone for the assertive communication training and suggested that the training "sanctioned workers to open up" and share w hat they know. Accordingly, additional study is required to determine the relationship of assertive communication training to conflict over values, goals, and demands, as well as trust, hostility, and productivity.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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