Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

ble when the situation changes from zero to free feedback. This hostility is short-lived, lasting through only one or two free feedback trials. 8. Zero feedback engenders doubt in the sender.

These findings support the hypothesis that free feedback is an aid to accuracy in interpersonal communication. Free feedback seems to permit the participants to learn a mutual language, which language once learned may obviate the necessity for further feedback.

The findings also support the hypothesis that the presence or absence of feedback affects the sender-receiver relationship. Zero feedback is accompanied by low confidence and hostility; free feedback is accompanied by high confidence and amity.


45. The Readability of Employee Handbooks*

Cosimo Carlucci and William J. E. Crissy

"I DON'T KNOW what is expected of me," "I didn't get the word" are common complaints of the rank and file employee. The very bigness of today's modern business enterprise begets and nurtures communication problems. Many companies have come to grips with the problem of "getting the word around" by using various formal communication media. None of these shows more promise of lessening both the number and the intensity of communication problems than does the employee handbook. It is with the readability of such handbooks that the present paper is concerned.


Procedure

One of the writers, responsible for the basic research and analysis, wrote to the personnel director of each member company in the so- called "Billion Dollar Club"1 requesting (a) copies of their employee handbooks, (b) data bearing upon the educational level of their employees, especially the median education of unskilled, non-supervisory employees. All except one company responded but for various reasons seven "members" were unable to participate in the study. In all, twenty-three

____________________
*
From "How Readable are Employee Handbooks?" Personnel Psychology, Vol. 4, 1951, pp. 383-95.
1
As defined by Business Week, i.e., companies with either gross assets or annual sales or both exceeding one billion dollars.

-427-

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