Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Donald J. Grandgenett

Second Advisor

Neal Grandgenett

Third Advisor

Blaine E. Ward


Effective listening is a skill that needs to be brought to the forefront in staff development programs and confronted by all levels of employees. Many jobs in the service-related industry require listening in order to accurately paraphrase customer demands and requests. Therefore, it is critical that employee listening skills are developed and reinforced as part of on-the-job training.

The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a significant difference in listening skills among different levels of selected employees at Central States Health & Life Co. of Omaha and to show a need for additional training in effective listening.

Three distinct employee groups were chosen: managers, professional/technical, and clerical employees. The employees were randomly selected and invited to attend a listening skills seminar taught by Don Grandgenett, a Senior Professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The Brown-Carlsen listening test was used to investigate the listening skills of all participants. Five different sub-sections of listening were charted by the Brown-Carlsen listening test: immediate recall, following directions, recognizing transitions, recognizing word meanings, and lecture comprehension.

After a statistical analysis of the differences in mean scores among managers, professional/technical and clerical employees was run, the principal findings showed the following:

(1) Managers showed a significant difference in both projected and actual scores compared to professional/technical and clerical employees as measured by the Brown-Carlsen listening test.

(2) Professional/technical employees did not show a significant difference in actual or projected scores compared to clerical employees as measured by the Brown-Carlsen listening test.

The conclusions of this study show that there appears to be a need for additional training in all areas of effective listening for clerical employees, perhaps with further investigation warranted on following directions and lecture comprehension. There also seems to be a need for additional training in lecture comprehension for managers and professional/technical employees.

This study has shown a significant difference in the listening abilities of managers as compared to professional/technical and clerical employees. If additional training in effective listening can be directly related to job success, and is accepted by upper management, there be unlimited potential for an increase in productivity, customer relations and internal harmony.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Education and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha.