Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Communication Climate as Predictor of Role Conflict among Subordinate Staff of Salman Bin Abdulaziz University

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Communication Climate as Predictor of Role Conflict among Subordinate Staff of Salman Bin Abdulaziz University

Article excerpt


In the fast pace of world communication process, role conflict among employees becomes core concern of the higher officials. Thereby, the present study was an attempt to explore the contribution and relationship of supportive and defensive communication climate on role conflict among subordinate staff of Salman bin Abdulaziz University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The sample included in the study is 368 subordinate staff working in various departments of the university. Communication climate inventory developed by Gibb's (1961) and role conflict scale by Rizzo, et al., (1970) was used to determine the experiences of subordinate staff. Pearson's product-moment correlation and step wise multiple regression analysis were used. The findings of the present investigation revealed that (i) defensive communication climate and their facets were positively related with role conflict, (ii) total defensive communication climate and their two facets (superiority and control) were emerged most dominant predictors of role conflict, (iii) supportive communication climate and their facets were showed positive significant relationship with role conflict, and (iv) empathy emerged as one of the most important predictor of role conflict. The present investigation tempted to provide certain implication and suggestion to add value in the contemporary areas of knowledge.

Keywords: communication, climate, supportive & defensive climate, role conflict

1. Introduction

In the fast pace of present scenario of the technological era, it is not possible to operate/run the business in an effective manner without communication. Therefore, all types of sectors in the business world conducting business and making profits with the help of internal and external communication to deals with different stakeholders. Moreover, it has been seen that organizational communication couldn't be imagined without conflict and role conflict related to the workforce comes across most commonly in the workplace. Researchers has pointed that extreme role conflict is harmful as well as low level conflict is not good for better output.

The easiest way to define "communication is transfer of information from sender to receiver, but implying that the receiver must understands the message in the same way as sender intent to say". However, Richmond et al, (2005) defined "organizational communication is the process by which individuals stimulate meaning in the minds of other individuals by means of verbal or nonverbal messages". As Lesikar et al., (1999) pointed out that "communication is the ingredient which makes organization possible". Moreover, it is necessary to understand communication climate with regard to general feeling and manifested, freedom of expression, openness and sincerity, warmth and sense of acceptance of others, interrelations,, the level of cooperation within the organization and conflict resolution because it is considered as a key determinants of organizational effectiveness. As we know that during the process of communication, the sender reveals about the feelings of his or her attitude, interest, value and manifest to influence others. Adler, et al., (2009) said that "communication climate is a term that refers to the emotional tone of a relationship". The concept can be elaborated in terms of the mode people feel about each other as they carry out their daily activities. Hence, climates can be found in families, friendships and all other types of relationships that have their own societal manner. In early sixties Gibb (1961) identified six characteristics of "supportive communication climate" and six characteristics of "defensive communication climate". He characterized the supportive climate as an environment in which the work is done within the frame of provisionalism, empathy, equality, spontaneity, problem orientation and description and defensive climate as an environment which comes with evaluation, control, strategy, neutrality, superiority and certainty. …

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