SAGE Journal Articles
Journal Article 1 Graham, G. H., Unruh, J., & Jennings, P. (1991). The Impact of Nonverbal Communication in Organizations: A Survey of Perceptions. International Journal of Business Communication, 28(1), 45-62.
Abstract: Five hundred and five respondents, from a wide variety of business organizations, were surveyed to gather information on their perceptions of nonverbal communication. Dividing the sample on the basis of perceived decoding ability and gender revealed several differences between the groups. Nonverbal communication was more important to self-rated good decoders than to other decoders. Better decoders relied most on facial expressions for accurate information while less skilled decoders preferred voice level or tone. Women, individually, rated themselves higher than men in decoding ability and, as a group, were perceived by both men and women to be better decoders and encoders of nonverbal cues. Women working in the education field rated themselves higher in decoding ability than any other group.
Recommendations for improved communication in businesses included paying more attention to nonverbal cues, especially the facial expressions, engaging in more eye con tact, and probing for more information when verbal and nonverbal cues are discrepant. Managers should be aware that most employees feel frustration and dis trust when receiving conflicting signals from their supervisors, and should try to modify their behavior by being more honest when communicating their emotions.
Abstract: Looking at dialogue from the intersection of theory and practice, we present our view of dialogue as a democratizing practice. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, we compared and contrasted our notions against data we collected. Our analyses of the two case studies suggest power relations, the identity of the evaluator, and the skills needed to facilitate dialogue, are problematic, including virtual dialogue. The evaluator needs to be more than an expert. Knowing the theory of dialogue in evaluation was not sufficient to understand these two cases. Instead we saw in each instance, the evaluator drew on tacit skills to keep the dialogue going. These skills were developed in the ‘thick of practice’. But more importantly, these cases show how the evaluator must privilege the dialogical process to keep it going.
Abstract: The California Department of Health Services' Occupational Health Branch and others have identified the construction industry as being at high risk for injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Effective tailgate trainings (brief job site safety meetings) can be a powerful tool to promote hazard awareness and safe work practices. The authors found that many contractors and supervisors conducted ineffective tailgate trainings. They developed the BuildSafe California Project to assist contractors to have more effective programs by holding 25 training-of-trainers sessions reaching 1,525 participants. The needs assessment, intervention, and evaluation results from the first 18 trainings are presented. Eighty-six percent of the participants found the program “very helpful.” Participants used the materials and made improvements in the quality and frequency of trainings. Supervisors must be skilled at conducting tailgate trainings as part of their responsibilities. There is a serious need to provide more culturally appropriate safety training in a workforce increasingly made up of Latino workers.
Abstract: Using data collected from interviews with public information officers (PIOs) in local governments, this study explores the use and perceptions of social media as a communication tool. It specifically addresses how social media are used as a public relations function to promote democratic, participatory, and transparency models in government. Results indicate that social media are highly regarded as a beneficial communication tool for local governments. Four primary themes emerged from the data analysis: dialogue promotion, engagement, unconstrained, and barriers. The first three themes focus on the opportunities that social media provide PIOs to communicate with citizens and the fourth theme presents the challenges faced by local governments that utilize social media. The insights shared by PIOs in local governments are useful for public relations professionals and scholars to help them understand and apply social media practices to build relationships with citizens and enhance communication practices.
Journal Article 5 Kim, B. J., Kavanaugh, A. L., & Hult, K. M. (2011). Civic Engagement and Internet Use in Local Governance: Hierarchical Linear Models for Understanding the Role of Local Community Groups. Administration & Society, 43(7), 807-835.
Abstract: Civically and politically interested individuals often use the Internet to facilitate and augment their civic and political participation. At the local level, such people also use the Internet to communicate and share information with fellow members of the local community groups to which they belong. In doing so, local groups help to create awareness and draw citizens into public deliberation about local issues and concerns, not only offline (a role they have played for many years) but also online. This research examines the interplay of individual-level and local group-level factors through an analysis of household survey data from the town of Blacksburg, Virginia, and surrounding areas in 2005 and 2006. It seeks to reconcile different levels of analysis--individual and group levels--relating to the use and impact of the Internet on civic engagement. This study identifies the distinctive influences at both the individual level and the community group level by applying a multilevel statistical model (specifically, the hierarchical linear model). First, at the individual level of analysis, this study found that internal and external political efficacy and community collective efficacy were significant individual-level factors explaining the Internet use for civic and political purposes. Second, at the group level of analysis, community group Internet use--which includes listservs, discussion forums, and blogs, among other emerging Internet technologies--and group political discussion were revealed as key influences on citizens’ perspectives on the helpfulness of the Internet for civic and political purposes. Finally, in multilevel analysis, when taking individual-level variables into account, the group-level variables (group Internet use and group political discussion and interests) are positively associated with the views of the helpfulness of the Internet in connecting with others in the community and becoming more involved in local issues.
Abstract: This essay reviews some of the recent research on operational uses of Social Media Sites (SMS) in state and local governments throughout the world. Also, it assesses the recent research on the employment of SMS for the tasks of governance at the state and local level as distinguished from service delivery. Finally, it discusses the opportunity and need for further research in this latter area and concludes with a call for research in four areas.