Knowledge Objectives
1. Identify each major link in the
communication process.
2. Explain the concept of media richness and
the Lengel-Daft contingency model of
media selection.
3. Explain process and physical barriers to
communication
4. Discuss why it is important for managers
to know about grapevine communication. 1
The Communication Process
• Communication
– The interpersonal transfer of information and
understanding from one person to another.
• A linked social process of sender, encoding,
medium, decoding, receiver, and feedback.
2
The Communication Process
Sender
2
Encoding
Start
1
Meaning
Noise
3
Transmission
through channels
8
Decoding
7
Transmission
through channels
(Receiver)
Noise
Receiver
4
Decoding
5
Meaning
6
Encoding
(Sender)
Numbers are sequential steps
3
The Communication Process
(cont’d)
• Encoding
– Translating internal thought patterns into a
language or code the intended receiver of the
message will likely understand and/or pay
attention to.
• Choice of words, gestures, or other symbols for
encoding depends on the nature of the message.
– Technical or nontechnical
– Emotional or factual
– Visual or auditory
• Cultural diversity can create encoding challenges.
4
The Communication Process
(cont’d)
• Noise
– Noise: any interference with the normal flow of
communication.
– Understanding decreases as noise increases.
– Dealing with noise
• Make messages more understandable.
• Minimize and neutralize sources of interference.
5
The Communication Process
(cont’d)
• Decoding
– Successful decoding depends on the receiver
having
• a willingness to receive the message
• ability to overcome perceptual “screening in” and
“screening out”).
• knowledge of the language and terminology used in
the message.
• an understanding of the sender’s purpose and
background situation.
6
The Communication Process
(cont’d)
• Feedback
– The choice factors for the form to provide
feedback are the same factors governing the
encoding process.
– Feedback affects the form and content of
follow-up communication.
– Effective feedback is timely, relevant, and
personal.
7
The Communication Process
(cont’d)
• Selecting a Medium
– Face-to-face
conversations
– Telephone calls
– E-mails
– Memorandums
– Letters
– Computer reports
– Photographs
• Bulletin boards
• Meetings
• Organizational
publications
• News releases
• Press conferences
• Advertising
8
The Communication Process
(cont’d)
• Selecting a Medium (cont’d)
– Moving between low- and high-context cultures
can create appropriate media selection
problems.
• In low-context cultures, the verbal content of the
message is more important than the medium through
which it is delivered.
• In high-context cultures, the context (setting) in
which the message is delivered is more important
than the literal words of the message.
9
The Communication Process
(cont’d)
• A Contingency Approach (Lengel and Daft)
– Media richness: a given medium’s capacity to convey
information and promote learning.
– Characteristics of rich mediums
• Provide simultaneous multiple information cues.
• Facilitate immediate feedback.
• Have a personal focus.
– Characteristics of lean mediums
• Convey limited information (few cues).
• Provide no immediate feedback.
• Are impersonal.
10
Information Richness of Channels
Information
Channel
RICH
Information
Richness
Face-to-face
discussion
Highest
Telephone
conversations
High
Written letters/memos
(individually addressed)
Moderate
Formal written documents
(unaddressed bulletins or
reports)
Low
Formal numeric
documents (printouts,
budget reports)
Lowest
LEAN
Source: Adapted from Daft, Richard L., and Lengel, Robert H. “Information richness: A new approach to
managerial behavior and organization design.” In Barry M. Staw and Larry L. Cummings (eds.), Research in
Organizational Behavior, vol. 6. Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, 1984, 191–233.
11
Nonverbal Communication
• Body Language
– Nonverbal communication based on facial
expressions, posture, and appearance.
• Types of Body Language
– Facial
– Gestural
– Postural
• Receiving Nonverbal Communication
– Awareness of nonverbal cues can give insight
into deep-seated emotions.
12
Nonverbal Communication
(cont’d)
• Giving Nonverbal Feedback
– Nonverbal feedback from authority figures
significantly affects employee behavior.
– Positive feedback builds good interpersonal
relations
– Sensitivity and cross-cultural training can
reduce nonverbal errors when working with
individuals from other cultures.
13
Dynamics of Organizational
Communication (cont’d)
• The Grapevine
– The unofficial and informal communication
system in an organization
• Managerial Attitudes Toward the Grapevine
– Managers have predominately negative feelings
about the grapevine.
– The grapevine is more prevalent at lower-levels
of the managerial hierarchy.
– The grapevine appears to be more influential in
14
larger organizations.
Dynamics of Organizational
Communication (cont’d)
• Coping with the Grapevine
– The grapevine cannot be extinguished.
– Attempts to stifle the grapevine as likely to
stimulate it instead.
– Monitoring and officially correcting grapevine
information is perhaps the best strategy for
coping with the grapevine.
15
Upward Communication
• Upward Communication
– The process of encouraging employees to share their
feelings and ideas with management.
– Options for improving upward communication
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Formal grievance procedures
Employee attitude and opinion surveys
Suggestion systems
Open-door policy
Informal meetings
Internet chat rooms
Exit interviews
16
Communication Problems and
Promises in the Internet Age
(cont’d)
• Barriers to Communication (cont’d)
– Semantic Barriers
• Misinterpretation of the meaning of words and
phrases by individuals.
– Specialized occupational languages can create
communication problems with outsiders.
– Psychosocial Barriers
• Differing backgrounds, perceptions, values, biases,
needs, and expectations of individuals can block
communications.
17
Communication Problems and
Promises in the Internet Age
(cont’d)
• Barriers to Communication (cont’d)
– Sexist and Racist Communication
• Progressive and ethical managers are weeding sexist
and racist language out of their vocabularies and
correspondence to eliminate the demeaning of
women and racial minorities.
18
Becoming a Better
Communicator
• Effective Listening
– Tolerate silence; keep listening.
– Ask stimulating, open-ended questions.
– Encourage the speaker with attentive eye
contact, alert posture, and verbal encouragers.
– Paraphrase what you have just heard.
– Show emotion to show your sympathy with
speaker.
– Know your biases and prejudices.
– Avoid premature judgments.
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– Summarize by reiterating what the speaker said.
Communication Problems and
Promises in the Internet Age
• Barriers to Communication
– Process barriers
•
•
•
•
•
•
Sender barrier
Encoding barrier
Medium barrier
Decoding barrier
Receiver barrier
Feedback barrier
– Physical barriers
• Devices and distance
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Management 9e - Kreitner