Date of Award:

Winter 1-1-1979

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department:

School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Advisor/Chair:

H. Robert Stocker

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gather data to answer the following:

(1) Is shorthand used as an employment screening device when there is little expectation of the use of that shorthand skill; and if it is, what are the competencies which employers believe individuals possess if they have completed a shorthand course?

(2) Are persons who have completed a course in a particular shorthand system (alphabetic, symbolic, or machine) as acceptable to employers for positions which require ability to take shorthand as persons who have taken a course in a different shorthand system; and if not, why are these individuals not acceptable?

Procedures

The businesses located in the state of Utah and listed in the 1978 Middle Market Directory and 1978 Million Dollar Directory constituted the accessible population. From a sample of ·275 businesses, 200 questionnaires, or 72.7 percent, were returned. There were 173 usable returns.

Findings

(1) There was no significant difference between the responses of employers who preferred or attempted to hire persons who had completed a course in shorthand and the responses of employers who saw no need to hire individuals who had completed a shorthand course when the employers were stratified by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) or size.

(2) When stratified by SIC, significant differences were found between the means of the eight levels of SIC for the competency statements grouped by Knowledges and Skills, Attitudes, and for the combined means on 46 competency statements. Fisher LSD tests were performed in order to determine which SIC's differed significantly for the eight levels of SIC. An item-by-item analysis of variance on each of 46 competency statements for the SIC treatment variable resulted in significant F ratios for six statements.

(3) In those businesses where shorthand was used in performance of assigned tasks, over half of the respondents indicated they had no preference for the type of shorthand system in which their office employees had skill. When preference was stated, symbolic shorthand was most often preferred. Alphabetic shorthand was more widely acceptable than machine.

(4) The null hypothesis that there were no significant differences between the weaknesses identified as being possessed by persons who had skill in alphabetic, symbolic, or machine shorthand when respondents were stratified by SIC or size was not rejected.

Conclusions

(1) Some respondents perceived completion of a shorthand course developed competencies other than the ability to take and transcribe shorthand.

(2) Competencies perceived by some respondents as being developed in shorthand classes could have been developed in other courses.

(3) Shorthand was used as an employment screening device by some respondents.

(4) The nature of the business made a difference in the competencies perceived as being developed when completing a shorthand course.

(5) Depending on the exposure to individuals with shorthand skill, employers evaluated differently those competencies which may be developed when a shorthand course has been completed.

(6) Some respondents were not as much concerned with the actual shorthand system employed as they were with the competencies developed when a shorthand course has been completed.

(7) Machine shorthand must have greater exposure in the business world in order to gain acceptance.

(8) Since a limited number of persons use alphabetic or machine shorthand in offices, employers might not be able to compare shorthand systems; consequently, these employers required skill in that system which was most familiar.

(9) Many persons who have not completed a course in shorthand but who have adequate entry-level skills for office work might not be hired for positions where shorthand is used as an employment screening device.

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