Development and validity of the communication competence scale of middle managers

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Jinkook Tak
Jiyeon Kang


This study was intended to develop the communication competence scale for the middle manager in organizations and examine its validity. To develop the communication competence scale of middle managers, first, 632 items extracted through literature review, expert interviews, and open surveys for middle managers. In the process of developing the items, it found that there were differences in competencies between communication with superiors and communication with subordinates. Thus it was decided to develop two different scales for each of middle managers’ communication competencies with superior and communication competencies with the subordinate. Based on experts’ evaluations on the content validity of the items, 81 items for the communication competencies with superior and 78 items for the communication competencies with subordinates were selected. In the first preliminary survey obtained from 338 middle managers, ten factors and 69 items selected for the communication competencies with superior and eight factors, and 54 items obtained for the communication competencies with the subordinate. In the second preliminary survey obtained from 206 middle managers, eight factors, and 64 items for the communication competencies with superior and seven factors and 45 items for the communication competencies with subordinates obtained. The total sample was divided into two groups to check the scale validity. Exploratory factor analyses conducted for group 1 then a confirmatory factor analysis conducted for the other group. The results showed that the exploratory factor analysis extracted 8 factors (persuasion, self-confidence, manner, listening, honesty, confirm, logicality, wisdom) and 52 items for the communication competencies with superior, and 7 factors (listening, humor, emotion regulation, modesty, non-verbal expression, consideration, clarity) and 37 items for the communication competencies with subordinate. In the confirmatory factor analysis using structural equation modeling, the models fit the data well. Also, the communication competencies of the middle manager significantly correlated with the criterion variables such as interpersonal relationship competencies and conflict management and confirming the criterion-related validity of the scale. Finally, implications, limitations, and directions for future research discussed.


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Tak, J., & Kang, J. (2021). Development and validity of the communication competence scale of middle managers. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 32(4), 439–471. (Original work published November 30, 2019)
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