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Full-Text Articles in Interpersonal and Small Group Communication

Strengthening The Introductory Communication Course: An Opportunity Through Better Alignment With Today’S Needs, Jon A. Hess Oct 2016

Strengthening The Introductory Communication Course: An Opportunity Through Better Alignment With Today’S Needs, Jon A. Hess

Jonathan A. Hess

More than a century after its inception in contemporary form, the discipline of Communication has encountered a tremendous opportunity—the chance to become an “essential discipline” in the academy, one like Math or English, which universities consider indispensable to the work they do. And yet, as a discipline, we have not sufficiently moved toward taking advantage of that opportunity. While such a move will require action in curriculum, scholarship, and service, one of the highest-impact areas in establishing the necessity of Communication is the introductory course. In order to understand the opportunity that lies before us, we have to understand ...


Teaching Ethics In Introductory Public Speaking: Review And Proposal, Jon A. Hess Sep 2016

Teaching Ethics In Introductory Public Speaking: Review And Proposal, Jon A. Hess

Jonathan A. Hess

Ethics are not heavily emphasized in either public speaking textbooks or classroom lectures. This de-emphasis of public speaking ethics is unfortunate. Educators should take responsibility for making sure that students are familiar with ethical issues and that they know that unethical public communication is not acceptable. Since public speaking textbooks do not provide much explicit guidance for ethical decision making, supplementary material is provided in this article. Four ethical principles are provided to help students understand the nature of communication ethics, a sample class lecture is outlined, and teaching ideas are included.


'Wait — Something’S Missing!': The Status Of Ethics In Basic Public Speaking Texts, Jon A. Hess Sep 2016

'Wait — Something’S Missing!': The Status Of Ethics In Basic Public Speaking Texts, Jon A. Hess

Jonathan A. Hess

The basic course is important to the welfare of the speech communication discipline. According to Seiler and McGukin (1989), the basic course is the mainstay of the discipline. Gibson, Hanna, and Leichty (1990) surveyed 423 institutions of higher education nationwide and found that at 92% of the schools’ enrollment in the basic course was increasing or holding steady (this is up from the figure of 88% reported in 1985). In a survey of college graduates, Pearson, Nelson, and Sorenson (1981) found that 93% believed that the basic speech course should be required for all students. Because of its popularity and ...


Rethinking Our Approach To The Basic Course: Making Ethics The Foundation Of Introduction To Public Speaking, Jon. A. Hess Sep 2016

Rethinking Our Approach To The Basic Course: Making Ethics The Foundation Of Introduction To Public Speaking, Jon. A. Hess

Jonathan A. Hess

The basic public speaking course is often taught from a standpoint of effectiveness. That approach can be problematic due to the dangers of technique. The use of ethics as a foundation for public speaking can overcome this drawback and has other advantages. Included in these advantages are its fidelity to the subject matter, promoting more responsible use of power, improved fit with the liberal arts mission of higher education, and better meeting student needs.

Issues in implementing an ethics-based course are discussed, such as identifying ethical issues and engaging in dialogue. The model is illustrated through a description of one ...


Basic Public Speaking Principles: An Examination Of Twelve Popular Texts, Jon A. Hess, Judy C. Pearson Sep 2016

Basic Public Speaking Principles: An Examination Of Twelve Popular Texts, Jon A. Hess, Judy C. Pearson

Jonathan A. Hess

The importance of the basic course is reflected in the number of published articles focused on it. Aside from having an annually published journal (The Basic Communication Course Annual) devoted to it, articles concerning the basic course are sprinkled throughout many of the discipline's journals. However, Schneider (1991) pointed out that few studies have focused on the textbooks used. Since the textbook is generally the foundation upon which the course is built, it is an important object of study.

Although the term basic course may be used to identify a variety of courses (such as public speaking, interpersonal communication ...


Building Support For The Introductory Oral Communication Course: Strategies For Widespread And Enduring Support On Campus, Jon A. Hess May 2015

Building Support For The Introductory Oral Communication Course: Strategies For Widespread And Enduring Support On Campus, Jon A. Hess

Jonathan A. Hess

A strong introductory course is important for many communication departments, for the discipline, and for meeting our obligation to society. This paper utilizes the example of a recent curricular reform that threatened to eliminate a required oral communication course to reflect on strategies departments can use to build widespread and lasting support for the course. The paper reviews the events that led to the challenge and details the department’s response, which offers lessons that may be useful for other institutions. Four lessons include: * Tailoring the introductory course to the institution’s needs and mission * Involvement in university work * Making ...


Public And Relational Communication Ethics In Political Communication: Integrity, Secrecy, And Dialogue In ‘The Contender’, Jon A. Hess, Joy Piazza May 2015

Public And Relational Communication Ethics In Political Communication: Integrity, Secrecy, And Dialogue In ‘The Contender’, Jon A. Hess, Joy Piazza

Jonathan A. Hess

There is no denying the omnipresence of media in the twenty-first century. One form of media that is particularly influential is film. Unlike print forms of entertainment, in which age and reading ability dictate accessibility, movies are accessible to virtually everyone. And, regardless of the producer's purpose for making the film, all movies provide an insight into our culture and the individuals who reside within it. Some movies are produced solely for entertainment value, but others seek to convey some type of message or to stimulate thought on the part of the viewer (Good & Dillon 2002; Kupfer 1999; Lipkin 2002). All ...


Turning Points In Relationships With Disliked Co-Workers, Jon A. Hess, Becky Lynn Omdahl, Janie M. Harden Fritz May 2015

Turning Points In Relationships With Disliked Co-Workers, Jon A. Hess, Becky Lynn Omdahl, Janie M. Harden Fritz

Jonathan A. Hess

Although most people begin their employment with the education and on-the-job training to handle the tasks their jobs entail, few long-term employees boast that they feel competent in dealing with all the difficult people they encounter in the workplace. Unpleasant coworkers range from annoying nuisances to major sources of job frustration and career roadblocks. Given that periodic preoccupation with unlovable coworkers is nearly a universal feature of organizational life, it is not surprising that such relationships are given due attention in the media and popular press (e.g., Bramson, 1989; Topchik, 2000). What is surprising is how little scholarly attention ...


Dealing With Co-Workers We Don't Like, Jon A. Hess May 2015

Dealing With Co-Workers We Don't Like, Jon A. Hess

Jonathan A. Hess

When we take a job with a company, we instantly develop a large network of new acquaintances. The relationships we have with co-workers are called “nonvoluntary relationships” because as long as we hold a job with that organization, we have no choice but to interact with the other people who work there. As long as we like our co-workers, the nonvoluntary nature of these relationships is unremarkable, but for most of us it is inevitable that we won’t like a few of those people. This can cause a difficult situation. Relationships with co-workers we don’t like are stressful ...


Making Oral Communication A Successful Part Of The Common Core, Jon A. Hess May 2015

Making Oral Communication A Successful Part Of The Common Core, Jon A. Hess

Jonathan A. Hess

Adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) represents the first time that oral communication has been included in the curriculum requirements for K–12 education in many states. If done well, this change will provide important benefits to students. However, effective implementation will require collaboration among policymakers, educators, and experts in oral communication. As educators work to strengthen primary and secondary education in the United States, many agree that schools need educational standards that are grounded in today’s needs and shared across states. The CCSS have emerged as a potential solution, and the majority of states have adopted ...


Communication Strategies To Restore Working Relations: Comparing Relationships That Improved With Ones That Remained Problematic, Jon Hess, Katelyn Sneed May 2015

Communication Strategies To Restore Working Relations: Comparing Relationships That Improved With Ones That Remained Problematic, Jon Hess, Katelyn Sneed

Jonathan A. Hess

When considering problematic workplace relationships, the question naturally arises of how people can deal most effectively with these challenges. What people most want with difficult relationships is a way to make the problems go away. That desire calls for research on strategies to transform problematic relationships into non-problematic relations. For this issue, there is both good news and bad news. First, the bad news: There are few easy answers when dealing with problematic relations. Problematic relationships are difficult by definition. Relationships that involve challenges a person can easily resolve are not difficult relationships. The co-construction of these relationships often intertwines ...


Distancing From Problematic Coworkers, Jon A. Hess May 2015

Distancing From Problematic Coworkers, Jon A. Hess

Jonathan A. Hess

Troublesome relationships are a universal aspect of human social interaction (Levitt, Silver, & Franco, 1996). Perhaps nowhere besides the family are problematic relationships so commonplace as in the workplace. Although relationship research primarily focuses on positive relations and thorny problems that occur even in the best of relationships, virtually everyone who has worked in an organization can relate stories of problematic relationships. The challenges these relationships pose resonate with people’s deepest feelings and most significant experiences at work. Problematic work relationships are often as memorable as they are challenging. Workplace relations are largely nonvoluntary relationships. They are created when people ...


Maintaining Undesired Relationships, Jon Hess May 2015

Maintaining Undesired Relationships, Jon Hess

Jonathan A. Hess

As social creatures, we spend our lives in the company of others, rather than in isolation. Consequently, we maintain many relationships out of need rather than desire. Unfortunately, some of these relationships are ones that we would not maintain if given a choice. Although a considerable amount of research on relational dynamics can be applied to unwanted relationships, scholars have made little attempt to generate an integrated overview of what communication characteristics typify such relationships, how they differ from desirable relationships, or how they should best be maintained. The maintenance of unwanted relationships piques public interest. Articles with titles such ...