Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

John Kitoko

Abstract

Communicative challenges that hinder managerial engagement in social networks can impede innovation adoption and thereby damage the financial performance and competitiveness of a firm. The purpose of this correlational study was to examine the relationship between communication apprehension (CA) and individual innovativeness in managers. The focus of the research questions was determining if a relationship exists between these variables before and after controlling for demographic characteristics. With diffusion of innovation theory as the theoretical framework, this research involved an attempt to address how adoption categories relate to varying degrees of CA. One hundred and five American-based owner-executives, senior managers, and middle managers completed 2 preexisting survey instruments on the Internet measuring individual perceptions of CA and individual innovativeness. Results from a Pearson correlation analysis indicated that a significant negative correlation existed between CA and individual innovativeness. A multiple regression analysis showed that CA and individual innovativeness were negatively correlated after controlling for gender, age, and education level. Furthermore, participants' level of education was negatively related to both total CA score and public speaking CA score. Leaders may apply these findings to achieve positive social change by using tools to reduce CA in managers. Such initiatives could lead to greater social confidence in managers, improved organizational performance, and more meaningful social engagement in the innovations that continue to shape the world.