Listening is Listening is Listening: Employees’ Perception of Listening as a Holistic Phenomenon

Liora Lipetz, Avraham N. Kluger*, Graham D. Bodie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Interpersonal listening research is marked by a wealth of conceptual definitions and measurement instruments, with a consensus about neither. Therefore, we sought to discover how laypeople, rather than theoreticians, construe listening, and to construct a scale that reflects these perceptions. In Study 1, laypeople listed the features and characteristics of interpersonal listening in four different contexts (general, romantic, colleague-to-colleague, and manager–subordinate). In Study 2, a second sample of individuals rated the centrality of the features found in Study 1 for the definition of listening. These centrality ratings were similar to the frequency of good-listening features in Study 1. In Study 3, we used the features identified in Study 1 and 2 and asked a sample of employees to rate each one regarding their experience with their supervisor or one of their work colleagues listening to them. These ratings yielded a single factor. Thus, we conclude that, although people can describe the complexities of listening, they seem to perceive it as a holistic and unitary experience. Practically, a small set of good items pertaining to perceptions of listening may yield an acceptable, or even excellent, unidimensional reliability estimate.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)71-96
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Listening
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©, © International Listening Association.


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