Talk to Me!!

Effective, Efficient Communication


  • Janet L. Lear University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Kay A. Hodge University of Nebraska at Kearney
  • Steven A. Schulz University of Nebraska at Omaha


Communication skills, Business education, Career preparation, Nonverbal skills


Problem: Employers’, university faculty members’, and students’ perceptions of the importance of communication skills in a business environment may vary.

Research Questions: What differences, if any, exist in the perceptions of employers, university faculty, and students about the importance of communication skills? If differences in perceptions exist, in what communication areas—written communication, oral communication, nonverbal communication, and listening—do significant differences exist in the perceptions among the groups of employers, university faculty, and students? If any differences in perceptions exist, why do they matter? Research Method: A
quantitative research survey was conducted. The participants were faculty members from a Midwestern university, students from the university, and business persons located in the area.

Data Collection Procedures and Analysis: The survey results were collected and analyzed using SPSS. Data were statistically analyzed to determine the differences and similarities regarding the importance of oral, written, and nonverbal communication, and listening skills.

Findings: Employers’ list of skills in order of importance—listening, nonverbal, writing, and oral skills—differed from faculty members’ and students’ reported order of importance—listening, oral, writing, and nonverbal skills. Business persons stressed that interdepartmental communication was vital to organizational success.

Conclusions/Recommendations: For students to be adequately prepared for future employment, differences between perceptions held by industry stakeholders and university stakeholders should be addressed. For students to become effective contributors for their future employers, they need to have those communication skills that employers value. Outcomes of this study can be used to suggest improvements to postsecondary education to better prepare students for success in the workplace.


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How to Cite

Lear, J. L., Hodge, K. A., & Schulz, S. A. (2015). Talk to Me!! : Effective, Efficient Communication. Journal of Research In Business Education, 57(1), 64-77.

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