Contingency theory of group communication effectiveness in Korean organizations: influence of fit between organizational structural variables and group relational climate on communication effectiveness
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This study developed and tested a contingency model of group communication in Korean workgroups that posited that the communication effectiveness and group performance of workgroups is determined by the ??????fit?????? of communication practices with organization structure and group relational climate. A contingency model incorporates three variables: contingency variables, response variables, and performance variables. Based on a review of the literature on Korean organizations and groups, the model incorporated two contingency variables: organizational structure and group relational climate. Organizational structure was indexed by the level of centralization and formalizations in the organization. Group relational climate was indexed by the level of closeness and group conformity among members. The response variables, communication practices of Korean workgroups, was measured in terms of the frequency of formal and informal meetings held by the workgroups. Two types of performance were measured: communication effectiveness and performance level. The contingency model hypothesized that the level of communication effectiveness and group performance of a workgroup that engages in communication practices which fit the requirements of organizational structure and group relational climate will be higher than that of a group whose communication practices do not fit the requirements of organizational structure and group relational climate. It also hypothesized the communication effectiveness group performance would be lower in groups which faced conflicting contingencies than in groups that faced consistent contingencies. A survey of 409 members of 84 workgroups in 37 Korean organizations was conducted. Results of this study supported the predictions of the contingency model. In particular, centralization, formalization, and closeness were significant contingency variables. The hypothesis regarding conflicting contingency was not supported. Implications of the study regarding the contingency theory, group communication and group effectiveness, and the nature of Korean groups and organizations are discussed.