The Influence of Collegial Communication on Faculty Perceptions of Departmental Climate
AuthorAnderson, Judith L.
Committee ChairHarwood, Jake
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractTo date, very little research on task-oriented groups has focused on relational communication, the verbal and non-verbal messages that members exchange in negotiating their interrelationships within a group. The purpose of the present study was to test a new, interdisciplinary model of how relational messages that faculty members receive from colleagues predict their global assessment of departmental support. A new Relational Message scale was employed in an online survey completed by 262 faculty members at the University of Arizona. Results of multilevel modeling analyses show that positive and negative relational messages received in collegial interaction were associated with 1) individuals' sense of relative competence and belongingness in their departments, 2) the extent to which gender is salient in their interactions with colleagues, 3) their level of identification with their departments, and 4) perceived departmental support. Female faculty members reported receipt of more negative messages about their professional competence, more negative feelings associated with interaction, more awareness of gender in interaction, and perceptions of lower departmental support than males. It was also found that both male and female respondents associated positive relational messages significantly more with male colleagues than expected, based on gender representation in their departments. No inter-departmental differences in relational communication experiences were found. Implications and limitations of the study, as well as future directions for research, are discussed.