Academic journal article Studia Psychologica

Do Birds of a Feather Communicate Better? the Cognitive Style Congruence between Managers and Their Employees and Communication Satisfaction

Academic journal article Studia Psychologica

Do Birds of a Feather Communicate Better? the Cognitive Style Congruence between Managers and Their Employees and Communication Satisfaction

Article excerpt

Abstract: The paper investigates whether cognitive style congruence of managers and employees on the analytic-intuitive dimension influence employee communication satisfaction. The cognitive style and employee communication satisfaction was measured in 136 manager/employee dyads. Polynomial regression and surface analysis were used to analyze communication satisfaction under four conditions. First, an analytic congruence condition where both manager and employee are analytical, second, an intuitive congruence condition where both are intuitive, third, an incongruence condition where an intuitive manager manages an analytic employee, and fourth, another incongruence condition where an analytic manager manages an intuitive employee. Results supported the similarity effect hypothesis indicating that congruence increases employee communication satisfaction in general. Furthermore, the surface analysis also allowed us to see that the communication satisfaction is higher in the intuitive congruence condition. The study did not support the hypothesis that in incongruent dyads intuitive managers are preferred.

Key words: cognitive style, communication satisfaction, banking, North Cyprus

Introduction

Communication satisfaction has been a popular area of study among business and communication scholars because employee satisfaction with communication has been found to be positively related to many work outcomes such as, job satisfaction, motivation, job performance, organizational commitment, decreased role ambiguity and identification (Blau, Cook, & Tatum, 2005; Goris, 2007; Gupta & Sharma, 2008; Kropf, 1999; Lee & Jablin, 1995). Employees' level of satisfaction with communication is also an important ingredient of the psychological contract, and closely linked to whether employees feel valued by their managers and the organization as a whole (Ridder, 2004; Willemyns, Gallois, & Callan, 2003). Furthermore, employees identify their immediate supervisor as one of the most important of all informational sources (Bartoo & Sias, 2004) and a supervisor's willingness to share information deter mi n es the success of change efforts in organizations (Lewis, 2006). The employee perceptions about how much they are listened to and how much their managers respect their opinions determine their communication satisfaction which in turn influences their feelings of trust towards the organization (Zeffane, 2012).

Personal characteristics influence a manager's attitude towards communication and the employee's expectations in terms of communication modes and frequency. Managers and employees not only differ in terms of their cultural and educational backgrounds and life styles but they also differ in terms of their personality types and cognitive styles. In processing information there are at least two interacting parallel forms (SarmánySchuller & Kuracka, 2012). The automatic loop evaluates the context implicitly (System 1) and the cognitive loop uses logical reasons to evaluate the situation explicitly (System 2). Although we utilize both systems 1 and 2, style theorists argue that individuals will have a tendency to use one system over the other (Hodgkinson, LanganFox, & Sadler-Smith, 2008). Cognitive style is defined as the way that individuals prefer to organize information as well as their experiences (Messick, 1976). Cognitive style is often measured on a dimension ranging from intuitive to analytic, which can be related to the automatic (System 1) and cognitive (System 2) loops (Sarmány-Schuller & Kuracka, 2012). Specifically, intuitive individuals have a global orientation to information processing and are influenced by the context in which the issue is taking place, prefer dealing with unstructured problems and analytic individuals prefer to process information using a step by step approach, focus on issues independently of their context, like precision an d pr efer st r uctur ed pr oblems (Armstrong, Cools, & Sadler-Smith, 2012). …

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