De communicatief competente professional in de ogen van managers | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236



Research indicates that the communicative performance of starting professionals does not always match managers’ expectations, although managers rate communication as important for their professional success. Institutes of higher education have the task of designing educational programmes that prepare students to meet the professional challenges concerning their communication. This article explores what managers themselves define as good professional communication. Their practical definitions of communicative competence were investigated through 44 semi-structured interviews in four professional business contexts (accountancy, communication, legal, and logistics). The research focused on the communicative competence of starting professionals and revealed (1) that communication is inextricably bound with the starting professionals’ work, (2) what specific genres starting professionals use, (3) that the quality requirements managers impose concern both text craftsmanship and contextual awareness and, (4) that managers rate communicative competence as important for organisations and starting professionals themselves. This implies that professional communication should play a prominent role in the curriculum with more focus on strategic communication awareness in relation to professional practically-oriented tasks. This will prepare students more effectively to meet managers’ expectations regarding communication.


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