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Conferences in Context: Status, Communication, and Evaluation

L. Wesley Wager and Merlin Brinkerhoff
Sociometry
Vol. 38, No. 1 (Mar., 1975), pp. 32-61
DOI: 10.2307/2786232
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786232
Page Count: 30
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Conferences in Context: Status, Communication, and Evaluation
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Abstract

This study examines the linkages between the staff conference evaluations of 1,390 managers and three variables: time commitments of managers to staff conferences, hierarchical status or rank of managers, and the perceived quality of communicative exchange in the typical conference sessions. In the initial problem of the paper, staff conference evaluations are treated: (a) as being independently affected by the three stated variables, and (b) as a fourth variable in a simple causal system. Since the data do not support either perspective unequivocally, deviations from the original expectations are assessed and interpreted. The second problem of the paper shifts back to the single bivariate relationship between time commitment to staff conferences and the conference evaluations of participants. Utilizing more traditional modes of multivariate analysis, a set of conditions are identified which most effectively weaken and increase the magnitude of this original relationship. Interpretations are provided both for these conditions and for further questions generated by the findings.

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