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«NASA CONTRACTOR REPORT 177459 ^^2MMVN1CATION TRAINING FOR AIRCREWSA A REVIEW OF THEORETICAL AND PRAGMATIcTsPECTS OF TRAINING PROGAM DESIGN Charlotte ...»

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The research suggests, then, that those individuals who use a direct, unembellished style of communication may be enhancing short-term, objective effectiveness at the same time that they are sacrificing relationship effectiveness. Relationship effectiveness is ill-served by the use of direct assertion; the individual using this style is not well liked immediately following the response, nor do others anticipate the continuation of the relationship on a long-term basis. Objective effectiveness, in contrast, seems to be facilitated by the use of the assertive direct style, at least on a short-term basis. However, long-term, objective effectiveness is dependent on maintenance of the relationship, (p. 261) 2.8.1.2 The Theory of Communicative Rights A further social issue is the rhetoric of one's rights to communicate assertively. The notion of an individual's right to a given communication style is found in (Salter, 1040), in (Wolpe, 1060), and is more fully developed in (Alberti and Emmons, 1074) as

•behavior which enables a person to act in his (her) best interest, to stand up for himself (herself) without feeling undue anxiety, to express his (her) honest feelings comfortably or to exercise his (her) rights without denying the rights of others." (p. 3) This rhetoric is extremely common in current popular literature and training programs on assertiveness.

For example, (Bloom et a/., 1075) gives the following typical list of rights.

Everywoman's Bill of Rights

1. The right to be treated with respect.

2. The right to have and express your own feelings and opinions.

3. The right to be listened to and taken seriously.

4. The right to set your own priorities.

5. The right to say "no* without feeling guilty.

6. The right to ask for what you want.

7. The right to get what you pay for.

8. The right to ask for information from professionals.

0. The right to make mistakes.

10. The right to choose not to assert myself [sic].

Lists of rights like these are always taken as given; there b no discussion of what the ground might be for such rights, why people might have them, or what type of social organization might guarantee such rights. Clearly the rhetoric is derived from the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitutional BUI of Rights. These documents, however, declare and discuss political rights, that is, the permitted and forbidden behavior of the state to the individual and the individual to the state. The framers of the Constitution drew on several centuries of philosophical and political debate about the nature of political organization and the means for establishing a just state and avoiding the problems of existing political organizations. In this debate, as in the Constitution, it is made clear that these rights must be established and maintained by a political organization which is itself supported by the people. In contrast, the rights discussed by assertiveness training involve relations between single individuals, or among the individuals in a small group. However, in spite of this difference in context, the rhetoric remains the same, apparently assuming that the political grounding given in the Constitution extends to the relation of individuals.

In spite of the lack of grounding, this rhetoric of rights may be convincing and hence effective in a therapeutic or quasi-therapeutic context, whose purpose is to encourage socially inhibited people to behave more boldly. It is not clear what relevance such a rhetoric of rights might have in a military context, which is organized primarily on the basis of hierarchically organized duties rather than of rights. This critique is also applicable to commercial aviation, since the social organization of commercial aviation is derived from the military model and retains many of its features. Since in both military and commercial aviation, effective team behavior is of primary importance, the focus on individual rights to a communicative style is irrelevant and possibly even counterproductive.

2.3.2 Linguistic Assumptions of Assertlveness Training The social context, as discussed above, is reflected directly in the linguistic form of communication. Many assertiveness training programs pay some attention to specifying forms of speech which will state the speaker's feelings without blaming the hearer. For example, one frequently cited recommendation is the use of •!' statements rather than

•you" statements. Thus (1) is said to be preferrable to (2), because it contains no element of blame.

(1) I get angry when you are late.

(2) Yon are rude to be eo late.

In the discussion of examples like this, the more general issue of the expression of the social situation is not addressed at all within assertiveness training. Generally, we may

say that any utterance accomplishes two types of communcation:

• Statement of some proposition about the world.

• Statement about the relation of the participants in the speech situation.

Thus, linguistics distinguishes between the referential component and a relational component of any utterance. The referential component is that aspect of the utterance which makes some direct predication about the world. The relational component expresses the relation between the interlocutors, their group membership, the speaker's feelings about the speech situation, etc. (Of course, it is possible to convey such information directly by encoding it as part of the referential component; for example, an different terminology for the same distinction, (Lyons, 1977) describes these as the descriptive and interpersonal aspects of language.





utterance like "We're still friends, aren't we?" Even so, such an utterance has its relational aspect, in this case arising from the presupposition that the friendship may have been threatened in some way.) One of the fullest discussions of this issue is the examination of pathologies arising from a mismatch of prepositional and relational messages given in (Bateson, 1972).

The distinction between the propositional and the relational aspects of communication suggests some serious issues for communications training in aviation. For example, in some situations, a subordinate's speaking assertively might be seen as challenging the hierarchical relationship of crew members. If this b so, simple training in the direct expression of matters of concern would not be sufficient. It would also help to train in forms of communication that can challenge a superior's assessment of a situation, while indicating respect for the superior's position. At present we know very little about how subordinates respectfully and successfully challenge superiors. This is a subject that warrants further study, before training crew members in forms of linguistic directness which might in fact be counterproductive. Our previous research (Goguen and Linde,

1083) has shown that subordinates do vary the level of directness of their utterances to superiors, depending on their perception of the situation as normal, problem or emergency. The existence of such variation shows that the level of directness is not wholly determined by the hierarchy of rank, but is at least partially under the control of the speakers. This indicates that training in linguistic directness could be successful, once we understand what forms to train, and how they depend on context.

2.4 Grid Management This section considers the theoretical background of grid management, reviews the literature attempting to validate grid management, and provides a critical assesment of these studies. In the discussion of grid management theory, a general reference to Blake and Mouton's claims will refer to the following works, which contain much repeated material ( (Blake and Mouton, 1064), (Blake and Mouton, 1080), (Blake and Mouton, 1078), (Blake and Mouton, 1085), (Blake and Mouton, 1068), (Blake and Mouton, 1082a), and (Blake and Mouton, 1082b)). Note that although grid management training has been applied in many contexts, the underlying theory and method of training does not vary.

2.4.1 Grid Management Theory Grid management is a theory of leadership and management based on two axes of behavior: concern for productivity and concern for people. Possible management styles are located on the grid produced by these two axes. The five most common styles described by this theory are shown in Figure 2-1, given in (Blake and Mouton, 1985) (p.

12). ;,:

–  –  –

According to thb theory, each person has a dominant leadership style, and may also have a backup style which is used as a retreat position when the dominant style is not effective. As is clear from the descriptions of the five styles given in figure 2-1, "9,9* team management is targeted as the preferred style. Much of the effort of grid management training is devoted to training participants in how to change their current style to 9,9 style. The relation of this theory to the training is described in the materials

developed for United Airlines (Blake and Mouton, 1981):

The Grid framework is a tool, a device for describing attitudes and behavior.

It is not a psychological assessment or evaluative mechanism and it it not intended to categorize people or place them in "slots". It would be a misuse to label individuals as consistently adhering to single Grid positions. People adopt different methods or display different leveb of concern at various times and during various circumstances. As an organizing framework it permits persons to study and describe behavior and thereby understand more clearly and precisely the attitudes underlying that behavior and the results produced.

The Grid numbers 0,1, 1,9, etc. serve as a kind of shorthand to represent a general pattern of behavior. It is unreasonable to expect that a Grid style will predict every single feature of behavior for any given individual. Individuals are likely to be aware of their xown dominant Grid style but are also able to recognize inconsistencies that do not precisely fit the assumptions of that dominant Grid style. What can be expected is explicit patterns of basic behavior for which the Grid style is an apt description, The Grid numbers facilitate understanding of behavior patterns; they are descriptors of general behavior and are not intended to be used to label individuals. (Book 2, p. 22.) Grid management theory also presents a breakdown of resource management into four steps: communication, coordination, conflict and critique, and taxonomizes the elements of leadership into: problem definition, inquiry, advocacy, and decision making.

Participants in the training are taught techniques for making these steps conscious and possibly explicit.

2.4.2 Theoretical Background of Grid Mangagement Research in many social science disciplines is cited by grid management theory as support for its claims (e.g. management theory, psychology, anthropology, etc.). Specifically, general semantics (Korzybski, 1058) is cited in (Blake and Mouton, 1085) as the theoretical foundation for grid maanagement theory. The argument appears to be that most extant theories of leadership behavior have been developed according to (incorrect) Aristotelian logic, by assuming the existence of discrete leadership traits and behaviors, attempting to isolate them, and then finally combining them additively. (Blake and

Mouton, 1085) comment:

By way of summary, Korszybski might observe "The Aristotelian langauge [applied to leadership theory] perpetuated what I call 'elementalism' or splitting verbally what cannot be split empirically.6" (p. 206) 4* Quoted from (Korzybski and Kendig, 1942).

In contrast, grid management theory is said to focus on processes of interaction, rather than discrete traits of leadership, and thus utilizes the the non-Aristotelian description of the •unsplittable" phenomena of nature.

(Blake and Mouton, 1985) summarize this as :;

follows:

Much of the confusion and many of the apparent contradictions between leadership theorists are removed through systematic examination of the logic on

which theoretical explanations are constructed. Aristotelian logic compete one :

to construe leadership as based on isolatable elements which are then combined by adding them together. This has been shown to produce faulty theory which does not permit adequate representation of Level I [Silent, nonverbal, unspeakable, internal or external] happenings that are the most effective for achieving results with and through others. By comparison, theory derived from non-Aristotelian logic pictures leadership as a double loop interaction process which cannot be divided into components, elements, or fragments. The 0,0 leadership orientation emphasizes participation as an interaction process based on openness and candor, strong initiative, thorough inquiry, effective advocacy, confrontational approach to conflict solving, appropriate delegation, sound teamwork, and two-way critique. It provides a positive alternative to Aristotelian logic as the basis for constructing a valid theory of sound leadership, (pp. 222 - 223) It is not clear what the relation is between general semantics as a theoretical foundation and the actual design and practice of grid management theory. The claim that only general semantics permits a view of whole systems is not true, since other theories, most notably cybernetics, have provided extended formal descriptions of the operation of whole systems, feedback loops, etc. Furthermore, since there has been very little critical attention paid to general semantics, it is difficult to determine exactly what its relation is to grid management theory, and whether using it as a theoretical basis improves or detracts from grid management theory. (Note that general semantics is discussed only in the appendix of (Blake and Mouton, 1085) and in none of Blake and Mouton's other, numerous publications.]

2.4.S Validation of Grid Management Theory Grid management theory has been widely applied in a variety of contexts including aviation, business, hospital administration, sales, military, social work, education, etc. In all their publications, Blake and Mouton claim that there is fifty years of research to support the effectiveness of grid management. This research may be divided into three types.



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