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Abstract

Three studies were conducted to determine the extent of overlap between basic organizational communication textbook content (1990-2002), student perceptions of basic organizational communication knowledge and skills important for the workplace, and managerial expectations of communication knowledge and skills for graduates. Overall, findings indicate overlap on assigning importance to group/team communication, leadership, verbal communication, and conflict management; however, there were differences on a range of topics addressed in the basic organizational communication course deemed essential for job success. Implications of the studies’ findings indicate that organizational communication textbooks could emphasize more “soft skills” such as interpersonal relationships, listening, dealing with conflict, and so on, because of the premium today’s employers place on employees possessing those skills. Additionally, basic organizational communication instructors play a vital role in organizational communication education because they functions as a “translation specialist” for the students and employers.