Date of Award

7-15-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Andrea McClanahan, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Valeri R. Helterbran, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Douglas Lare, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Faith Waters, Ed.D.

Abstract

With public higher education currently facing monumental challenges, organizational communication is taking on greater significance in the context of campus climate and organizational effectiveness. Studying the relationship between organizational communication and campus climate could prove to be a valuable indicator of a university’s “organizational effectiveness.” Without effective organizational communication, employee morale can wane, commitment to the institution can be thwarted, and employee motivation can be weakened. Within this context, campus climate is vital because it can negatively impact student success, as well as affect the ability of faculty and managers to achieve personal and professional goals. Thus, communication and climate together can affect the ability of a university to operate effectively. This study utilized a convergent parallel mixed-methods research design to examine the relationship between organizational communication and campus climate as an indicator of organizational effectiveness. Managers (N= 30) and faculty (N =101) from one public university in the northeastern United States participated in the quantitative phase of the study and six respondents took part in the concurrent qualitative phase of the study. For the quantitative phase of the study, participants completed a web-based survey comprised of the Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire (Downs & Hazen, 1977) as well as the Personal Assessment of the College Environment Survey (NILIE, 2014). A random sampling technique was used to select six participants for the qualitative phase of the study. During the interviews, participants were asked to reflect on their organization’s communication, the campus climate, shared governance, and the organization’s effectiveness. The quantitative and qualitative results indicated that organizational communication is a strong predictor of the “Total Campus Climate.” The results also showed that each communication factor was a significant positive predictor of campus climate. Through the communication factors links to the dimensions of campus climate, specific factors and dimensions emerged as indicators of organizational effectiveness. Faculty/Faculty Leaders and Females also were positive predictors of satisfaction with campus climate. This dissertation study updates and deepens the literature on the relationship of organizational communication to campus climate and organizational effectiveness. The study also provides practical implications for managers and faculty and recommendations for future research.

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