GROUP COMMUNICATION AND EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE; A STUDY OF SELECTED COMMERCIAL BANKS IN PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE








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GROUP COMMUNICATION AND 
EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE; A STUDY OF SELECTED COMMERCIAL BANKS IN PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE



ABSTRACT
This study is about group Communication and Employee Performance. The study examines ways that can improve the interpersonal communication skills of employee in order to facilitate their group communication flow and influences their job performance. The three null hypotheses formulated for the study were tested with the aid of Chi-square statistical tool. The findings revealed that those null hypotheses should be rejected. The researcher concludes that: Management of most commercial banks should provide a conducive communication environment to develop the communication skills such as persuasion skills, listening skills and behaviour. Communication games abilities can be used to develop the mental and physical abilities of employees; management should change some of their communication policies and include effective techniques, training schemes as well as the use of modern communication gadgets and transmitting equipment’s to reduce or avoid communication fault/failure during business transactions.


TALE OF CONTENTS
Title Page                                                                                 i
Declaration                                                                              ii
Certification                                                                             iii
Dedication                                                                               iv
Acknowledgement                                                                    v
Abstract                                                                                   vi
Table of Contents                                                                     vii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1   Background of the study                                                  1
1.2   Statement of the problem                                                4
1.3   Purpose of the study                                                                5
1.4   Research questions                                                          6
1.5   Research hypotheses                                                       7
1.6   Significance of the study                                                  8
1.7   Scope of the study                                                           9
1.8   Limitation of the study                                                     9
1.9   Definition of the study                                                     11
1.10 Organization of terms                                                      12
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1   Introduction                                                                     15
2.2.1        Job performance                                                              15
2.2.2 Group (small/large) communication                                       16
2.2.3 Functional roles of group members for leaders and for
Participation                                                                    20
2.2.4 Group performance management                                    21
2.3.1 Communication variable                                                 22
2.3.2 Barriers to communication                                             25
2.3.3 Group communication and satisfaction                          26
2.4   Group processes and job performance                             27
2.5.1        Listening behaviour                                                         30
2.5.2 Effective listening                                                           32
2.5.3 Types/kinds of listening                                                 37
2.5.4 The differences between empathic and deliberative
listening persuasion                                                                38
2.6   Persuasion                                                                       40
2.7   Communication programmes techniques                        43
2.8   Communication games exercises                                     47
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1   Introduction                                                                     53
3.2   Research design                                                               53
3.3   Research population                                                                54
3.4   Sample size and sampling procedure                                       55
3.5   Data collection method                                                    56
3.6   Operational measure of variables                                     58
3.7   Data analysis techniques                                                 60
CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
4.1   Introduction                                                                     62
4.2   Distribution and retrieval of questionnaire                      62
4.3   Research questions                                                          64
4.4   Analysis of research questions                                         76
4.5.1 Chi-square statistical tool and analyses                         86
4.6   Statistical testing of hypotheses                                      89
CHAPTER FIVE; DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1   Introduction                                                                     92
5.2   Findings of the study                                                       92
5.3   Discussion of findings                                                     93
5.4   Conclusion                                                                      99
5.5   Recommendation                                                             101
5.6   Suggestion for further research/studies                          102
Bibliography                                                                            103
Appendix I                                                                               107
Appendix II: Questionnaire                                                      109


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Performance is one of the benchmarks by which an individual, employee, team, group, institution or an organizational (input or/and output to an) assigned responsibility or task is measured. Performance can be defined as “How well or badly an individual, group, organization and so forth does a job, task or an activity. Performance could be measured by efficiency, outcomes,/outputs, turnover or profitability.
Rynes et al., (2002) noted that Attributed predict performance better than the pervasiveness of cognitive ability even though cognitive ability has been repeatedly shown to be the predictor for new hires.
A few scholars indicate and support the argument that General Mental Ability (G.M.A) is a strong predictor of performance for newcomers than for experienced employees in jobs with consistent task requirements (Farrel and McDaniel, 2001; Keil and Cortina, 2001).
Group (small/large) communication is multilateral rather than bilateral. That is it takes place between a number of people, each of whom can be a speaker or a receiver at any time, each member must be skilled at least aware of each these basic and fundamental components.
Communication, whether written, non-verbal or visual is the medium or channel through which information, data, signals and so forth can reach us or be exchanged. Kirtely Johnson et al., (2007) revealed that communication enables action and coordination of team efforts. Hence, in that line of reasoning, we can agree that management and communication cannot be separated.
Most modern companies have realized to demand communicative skills from applicants… and many organizations require employees to attend programs or training to develop or update their writing skills, verbal expressions, etc; of which have been identified as the essential skills in this information age (InfoTrac/InfoWrite 2010:1).
Chong et al, (2010) assert that when we communicate well, we gain the recipient trust. Other scholars revealed that the interactive communication of employees in a group have brought out organizational results; and not the mere exchange between two or more employees (Kirtely et al., 2007). Miller (2003) also posited that the synchronized team/group, supported by a healthy communication environment is a primary means by which organizational decisions can be made, strategy is developed and performance is measured.
In recent years, a significant number of studies on organizational communication and its relationship with employees’ job performance have been investigated. Those researches in that communication field mainly linked between communication and financial performance in simulated organizational teams (Kirtley Johnson et al., (2007); Transfer of experience in groups of organization: implications for performance and competition (Ingrams and Simons, 2002); and Language Nuances and Socio-economic Outcomes (Chong et al., 2010).
However, little research links to how interpersonal communication skills impact positively on the employee job performance. Other area of neglect or to lay emphasis on is the usage of communication games/exercise to play a significant role in the development of the mental capability of the employee to communicate well in work situations.
This stud attempts to fill the gap and disclose the positive impact of communication games/exercise on an employee’s development to heighten the job performance.
Thus, there is the necessity to use communication games/exercises to develop the employee’s mental/physical capabilities in order to arouse their interest in role taking/playing, building of each other’s self-confidence and to ginger each employee to involve or contribute in decision making while working on a group task has made this study a significant area of focus.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Communication is either to commune or interact effectively with others. Its aims to help each other to identify, explore and resolve one’s communicative needs.
On the contrary, there have been considerable confusion and frustrations during most of our social interactions or group communication. For instance most employees, working as a group/unit cannot communicate effectively among themselves due to misinterpretation or misunderstanding of the message communicated to them. In order words, most employee lack communication skills and needs.
Globe Newswire (2009) revealed that social isolation as well as breakdown in communication in families, workplace, etch have become an issue.
It has been pointed out also that group listening and expression effectiveness do drive Effective Group Processes and lead to increased financial performance (Kirley, et al, 2007).
The problem at hand is to redress some of such deficiencies in the employee’s communication skills, specifically listening behaviour and persuasive skills. Besides, to highlight the significance of communicative games/exercise for the employee mental/physical wellbeing or needs which, when adopted by management will develop the employees mentally and physically and enhance their capabilities as well as improve their job performance.
1.3   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of group communication on employee’s performance. Hence, this study will achieve the following objectives:
1.     To determine those elements which impede the flow of communication among employees while working on a task.
2.     To examine whether management organizes programmes and training exercise on communication to enhance the performance of their employees.
3.     To identify those variables which influence the communication process?
4.     To ascertain whether persuasive skills are relevant in group communication.
5.     To develop an explanatory theory that associates listening behavior and skills as a suitable criterion for group communication and employees’ performance.
6.     To ascertain if management use effective test batteries or criteria to evaluate their employees proficiency while communicating and working as a group.
1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS
For the purpose of identifying, ascertaining and examining the effectiveness of group communication on employee’s performance, the researcher had developed or formulated the questions below:
1.     To what extent can effective communication be a requisite for the performance of employees working as a group?
2.     In what ways can relevant and viable communication programmes improve employees communication skills?
3.     How can/has group communication influence(d) the job performance of employees?
4.     How has the function of listening behaviour and expression effectiveness impacted on the group processes and their job performance?
5.     In what ways can individual prevent group communication fault/failures in the attempt to relate to each other well while on a group task?
6.     To what extent can the use of communication games/exercise be beneficial to employees while on a group task?
1.5   RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The hypotheses formulated below are to be tested in order to achieve the target of the study:
H01: The credibility of employee communication skills do not depend on managerial communication policy reforms or/and action in the organization.
H02: There is no significant relationship between communication training programmes/exercise and employees development.
H03: There is no impact of communication failures on group communication flow.
1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work, in addition to others conducted in this area, will contribute to a reasonable amount of knowledge in academics and commerce. It will also add to the existing reference stock of resources/materials to potential researchers.
The result of this study will make a positive impact on business and group communication in the banking industry.
It will serve also as reference point where the employee’s communication skills or group communication effectiveness have not make positive impact. Finally, it will assist any organization which have realized the significance of using communication games/exercises to complement the development of the mental or/and physical capabilities of an employee to perform effectively during any group task.
1.7   SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study will focus on the banking industry in West Africa; notably Nigeria. Nevertheless, this study will not cover the entire thirty-six (36) States and its Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. However, it will concentrate only on three (3) huge commercial banks in Nigeria and have their Regional Headquarters and various branches in Port Harcourt, Rivers State of Nigeria.
The banks to be studied would be the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Ecobank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
This study will attempt to cover some of the managerial approach to group communication; with emphasis on effective techniques that management can adopt to lead them to the positive development of their employees communicative skills and their general mental capabilities. Thus, to enable them work and communicate effectively in the organization and during other outside assignments.
1.8   LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study will be narrow down and stay within certain parameters due to the following reasons:
The time constraint within six (6) months period for presentation of this study.
My present financial position might not allow me to offset the monetary cost to be incurred during the research for travel, subsistence, help with data analyses or postage for questionnaire to many banks or other unforeseeable contingency expenses.
The researcher’s or my inability to gather a great deal of resources/materials and information for the research work under study from the online libraries or/and other relevant academic journals, published writings and textbooks from the public and Universities Libraries.
The difficulty or frustrations involved to gain access to many commercial banks in rivers state. Furthermore, the likelihood of obtaining a reasonable or positive response to questionnaire distributed.
Lastly, the difficulty to handle large scale surveys; taking into consideration supposed how that data would be analyzed and conclusion drawn.


1.9   DEFINITION OF TERMS
Cognitive Ability:  The capability to know, understand and learn something.
Communication: The channel or medium through which information data, signals, etc can reach us or be exchanged.
Communication Techniques: The skills to be acquired by the employee or group of employees.
Conscientiousness: An achievement striving deposition characterized by a strong sense of purpose and a high aspiration levels.
Group: A set of people, participants, employees working in a department etc ranging from three (3) to considerable amount of members.
Group Communication: A multilateral communication which takes place between a numbers of people, each of whom can be a speaker or a receiver at any time.
Group Process: Encompass a variety of collective and interrelated behaviour (E.g. coordinating and communicating, confidence-building, information sharing, etc) in which group members engage.
Listening:  A process whereby we shift our listening focus to zero in on particular sounds, which we evaluate before passing on to other sounds.
Organizational Culture: The basic assumption and beliefs shared by members of an organization. These beliefs operate unconsciously and define in a basic taken-for-granted fashion, an organization’s view of itself and its environment.
Performance: How well or badly an individual, group or a company does a job or an activity.
1.10 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
 This research study has been organized in five distinct chapters.
Chapter one is the introduction and consist of the background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study, limitation of the study definition of terms and organization of the study.
Chapter two entails the review of related literature. This will be the critical review of literature on communication in some of these areas such as Group: satisfaction, perception, listening behaviour, skills and effectiveness, attractiveness, expression effectiveness and persuasion skills.
Chapter three will focus on the research methodology and encompass research design, sample size determination/sampling procedure, questionnaire design, and data collection method and data analysis techniques.
Chapter four comprises of the presentation and analysis of data as well as testing of hypotheses.
Chapter five involves the discussion of findings, conclusion, recommendations and suggestion for further/future research. 


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