Social Skills Case Study

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2.4 Theoretical Framework of Social Skills
In the social skills literature, a wide variety of conceptually related terms are frequently used as if researchers shared a common understanding (e.g., social intelligence, social competence, social skills, interpersonal competence). But there are a wide variety of definitions and there is by far no consensus on what social skills are (Phillips, 1985). As a result of this inconsistency, researchers face a difficult task to develop accurate and reliable measures for social skills and integrate findings across studies. The aim of the study is to develop an organizational model which has direct implications for teacher social skills’ conceptualizations and measurements.

2.4.1 Operationalization of
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The researcher operationalizes teacher social skills by selecting its measurement scale items and scale type which involve a series of scaled indicator items in a Likert scale format. In order to determine what skills are important to teachers’ interactions with their students for the research, a distinction need to be drawn between competence and skill as both have an ultimate bearing on performance behavior. Building on the work of McClelland (1973) and other scholars, Boyatzis (1982) defined competencies as the underlying characteristics of an individual causally related to effective or superior performance in a job. This is consistent with the view that competence should be viewed as a function of knowledge, skill, and motivation (Spitzberg, 1983). These definitions suggest that a competency framework is broader than a skill framework as it involves such elements as values, personality, motivations, and knowledge. In the context of the present study, skills are synonymous with an individual’s ability to perform an appropriate behavior in a given situation. Gilbert and Gilbert (1991) aptly draw a distinction between social competence and social skills. Social competence refers to “the ability to know about and deal with the social environment”, whereas social skills refer to “specific abilities…show more content…
Notwithstanding the values of social skills in various contexts such as work performance (e.g., Ahearn et al., 2004; Ferris et al., 2001), the domain of social skills has been shown difficult to define as discussed. Compounding the issue is the fact that a plethora of skills associated with the construct is now both extensive and difficult to schematize (as shown in Table 2.3a - 2.3f). In addition, a majority of the studies cited above have been conducted in a western context, research studies focusing on teacher social skills in Asian context are few and far between. A closer investigation into teacher social skill in the classroom will shed lights on how best to address the definitional and measurement issues surrounding social skills in the Asian educational
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