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Functions and Models of Communication

Informational Systems Approach
Socialization/Assimilation in Organizations
Cultural Approach to Organization
Critical Approach to Organization
Organizational Structure
Types of Organizational Structure
Functions and Models of Communication
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Functions and Models of Communication

 Functions of Communication
  • Control behavior
  • Motivation
  • Emotional expression
  • Information
A Perceptual Model of Communication
(1). Sender behavior
  • Encoding: translates mental thoughts (meaning) into a code or language that can be understood by others
         Each culture has a vocabulary of language, rituals, gestures, ceremonies, and routines in express meaning
  • Message
Thought or conceptual component

Feeling, or emotional component

  • Selecting a medium
    • Face-to-face conversation
    • Telephone
    • Voice mail
    • Electronic mail
    • Photo graphs
    • Letters
    • Memos
    • Bulletin and fliers
    • Formal numerical report
 (2) Receiver behavior
  • Decoding: translates verbal, oral, or visual aspects of message into an understandable meaning.
    Decoding by the receiver is subject to social values and cultural values that may not be understood by the sender

    A receiver creates the meaning of a message in his/her own mind => misunderstanding as the norm, rather than exception

Failure of communication in corporate America:
    • 64% don't believe what management says
    • 61% Aren't well-informed of company plans
    • 54% Don't get decisions explained well
    Cross-cultural misunderstanding: the use of different cultural dictionaries.

    Case 1: the use of lawyers between Italian and German negotiators

    Case 2: intimate behavior by two Chinese males.

  • Feedback
  • Noise: anything that interferes with the transmission and understanding of a message, such as a speech impairment, illegible handwriting, poor hearing, bad mood

A Contingent Model for Choosing Media

(1). Information richness of a media: the potential information-carrying capacity of a media

  • Face-to-face conversation
  • Voice mail
  • Formal numerical report
  • Electronic mail
  • Photo graphs
  • Telephone
  • Letters and memos
  • Bulletin and fliers
  (2). Complexity of problem/situation
  • Low complexity: routine, well-structure, clear, predictable, having clear objectives and standards
  • High complexity: ambiguous, unpredictable, hard to analyze, and emotionally laden.
  One-way vs. two-way communication
  • One way communication: no feedback or interaction follow: giving instruction and direction
  • Two-way communication: have feedback and interaction: discussion
Verbal vs. Nonverbal communication
    Nonverbal communication: the transference and understanding of meaning without the use of written or spoken words  
Defensive vs. non-defensive communication 
 Effective interpersonal communication

 Formal vs. informal networks in organizational communication

  • Communication networks: channels by which information flow
  • Formal networks: task-oriented communications that follow the authority chain
  • Informal networks (grapevines): communications officially sanctioned by organizations.
  • Not controlled by management
  • Perceived as more believable and reliable
  • Serve the self-interests of those involved 

 Formal small-group networks

  • Chain
  • Wheel
  • All-channel
  Grapevine patterns and implications:
  • It is faster than formal channels
  • It is about 75% accurate
  • People rely on it when they are insecure, threatened, or faced with organizational change
  • Employees use the grapevine to acquire the majority of their on the job information
   Directions of Organizational Information Flow
  • Downward communication
  • Upward communication
  • Horizontal communication
   Information Distortion in Organizational Communication 
 The Johari Window
Two dimensions:
  • Known/unknown by self
  • Know/unknown by others
Four areas:
  • Open
  • Blind
  • Hidden
  • Unknown
Two processes
  • Disclosure: sharing with others what you know (feelings, experiences, information)
  • Feedback: eliciting disclosure from others

 Communication Barriers between Women and Men (Deborah Tannen)

Basic assumption: communication is a continual balancing effort of juggling the conflicting needs for intimacy and independence

Women: speak and hear a language of connection and intimacy

Men: speak and hear a language of status and independence