Date of Award

Spring 1992

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Harry Smith

Second Advisor

Bethalee Wilson

Third Advisor

C.W. Bill Huber

Abstract

Among recent studies in communication research, several experts have analyzed contrasting communication between men and women. Most research presents consistent and valuable information about the dichotomous communication between the two sexes. The clash of the two styles often leads to frustration in the business office, from the female manager who feels she isn't heard by subordinates, to the male executive who's confused when his orders spark resentment and anger. As a greater number of women enter into the business world, the gap between the genders becomes a significant battle that needs to be won. This paper will present an analysis of recent research which will explain the initial formation of the gender gap, followed by a detailed explanation of the differing communication components creating the gap. This thesis will then discuss the impact of gender-related communication barriers in corporate America. Suggestions directed to improvement in gender communication will conclude the thesis. The general intent of this thesis is to increase awareness of the communication gap between the sexes. It is important that both males and females understand the differing communication styles that affects them. With an increased awareness of the opposite approaches, it is suggested that both will be able to more effectively work together to understand the positive sides of each other. Men in corporate America can become more productive by accepting some of women's styles, rather than fighting them. Women can utilize their talents and learn how to relate to men's communication patterns. "We continue to resist the notion that by admitting the value of female attributes we are not denying the value of males. Instead, we are proposing we need both" (Rosener, 1991, p.149).

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