Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Communication Education 25:4 (November 1976), pp. 269–275.

doi: 10.1080/03634527609384640


Copyright © 1976 National Communication Association; published by Taylor and Francis. Used by permission.


Whether we like it or not, this is the age of subject matter relevancy and educational accountability. In order for instruction to be interesting, meaningful, and practical for students, it must be essentially a microcosm of that segment of the “real world” students will be entering upon graduation. The objective of competency- or performance-based models of education suggests that educators should be held accountable for what they teach. However, before teachers can be held accountable they need to know what skills and abilities their students will require in order to be successful in their career objectives.

In addition to the issues of accountability, speech communication educators are becoming increasingly more concerned with career education training. This is evidenced by recent convention papers at the national and regional levels. Thus, the concern for career planning and training requires a better understanding by speech communication educators of the communication skills that industry and business demand of those they hire.

One of the most popular conceptualizations of the business organization is that it is a complex communication system. The individual entering today’s business organization must function in a dynamic communication system, and to some extent, the ability to function effectively in that communication system may determine perceived competency and level of success. While a great deal of information has been written regarding the importance of communication in the business organization, little has been written in recent years to identify those communication skills that are important according to job responsibility or organizational position. The purpose of this study is to identify communication skills that are used and required by those entering the business organization. Hopefully, after cataloging the necessary communication skills, speech communication educators should be better prepared to provide students with the appropriate training required by industry and business.