Link between comunication competence and employee satisfaction

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The Link Between Leadership Style, Communicator Competence, and Employee Satisfaction Paul E. Madlock West Virginia University

Paul E. Madlock is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication Studies at West Virginia University. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Paul E. Madlock, WestVirginia University, Department of Communication Studies, P.O. Box 6293 108 Armstrong Hall WVU, Morgantown, WV 26506-6293. Telephone: (304) 293-3905 office (304)-293-8667 fax. E-mail: The manuscript is not currently under consideration for publication with any other journal.

The Link Between The Link Between Leadership Style, Communication Competence, and EmployeeSatisfaction Abstract The current study examined the influence of supervisor communicator competence and leadership style on employee job and communication satisfaction. Participants were 220 individuals (116 men and 104 women) working full-time for a variety of companies in the Midwest. The findings indicated a strong relationship between supervisors’ communicator competence and their task and relationalleadership styles, with supervisor communicator competence being a stronger predictor of employee job and communication satisfaction. More


specifically, the findings indicated that supervisor communicator competence accounted for 68% of the variance in subordinate communication satisfaction and nearly 18% of the variance in subordinate job satisfaction. More importantly, these findingsprovide an association between communication, leadership, and employee job and communication satisfaction.

Key words: Leadership Style, Supervision, Communicator Competence, Communication Satisfaction, and Job Satisfaction.

The Link Between


The link between leadership and competent communication has received limited attention by business and communication scholars alike. According toHolladay and Coombs (1993), leadership is a behavior enacted through communication. Specifically, Holladay and Coombs suggested that communication shapes the perceptions of a leader’s charisma and communication can be divided into the content of the leader’s messages and the presentation of those messages. Similarly, messages sent by leaders are considered to contain both affective and cognitivestrategies (Hall & Lord, 1995), and when leaders effectively communicate their vision they win the confidence of followers which in turn aids in communication satisfaction between the leader and follower (Pavitt, 1999). Castaneda and Nahavandi (1991) suggested that subordinates who perceive their supervisors’ behaviors to exhibit both relationship orientation and task orientation report being the mostsatisfied. Based on previous research, leadership appears to be enacted through communication in such a way that it contains a relational (affective) and task (content) component. Additionally, when leaders communicate effectively their followers experience greater levels of satisfaction. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to examine the influence of supervisor task leadership style,relational leadership style, and communicator competence on employee job and communication satisfaction. This examination is of value in that it extends prior research in three ways. First, the current study examines the link between communicator competence and leadership styles. Second, this study highlights the specific influence of both task and relational leadership, and third, this study offersinsight into the influence supervisor task leadership, relational leadership, and communicator competence have on subordinate job and

The Link Between communication satisfaction. The variables of communicator competence, leadership, communication satisfaction and job satisfaction are discussed in more detail below. Communicator Competence Harris and Cronen’s (1979) research indicated that...