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Business Communication & Business Communication Workshop

Instructor: Saba Bahareen Mansur

Aims for this class:

1. Understand what ‘business communication’ is?
2. Different Models/theories explaining the process of communication?
3. Why ‘business communication’ is important for business professional?
4. What is the relationship between English & Business Communication?
5. What are the factors that influence workplace communication today?

1. What is Communication?
Communication comes from the Greek word ‘communicare’ which means to be together, or to share.
Other definitions are:
‘Communication is a
‘Communication is any behaviour that results in an process involving the
exchange of meaning.’ transmission and reception
(American Management Association) of symbols eliciting
meaning in the minds of
the participants by making
common their
‘Effective (Baird Jr. E. John)
communication is
purposive symbolic
interchange resulting
in workable
understanding and
agreement between the
sender and the
(George T Vardman)

2. *Models of Communication:

*Models are attempts to represent what something is and how it works. The first two models discussed
here are simplistic but the later model provides greater detail and insight into the process of

a) Linear model of communication:

This model is also known as Electronic or Mathematical theory/model of communication. In this model
communication is seen as a one way process. In it the sender or encoder of the message sends a
message to the receiver who receives the message. It takes into account external factors such as ‘noise’
which can create interference in the communication process.

Shortcomings of this model:

1. The flow of communication is flowing in one direction only, that is, from sender to receiver.
But not vice versa.
2. The listeners are portrayed as completely passive having no impact on the sender.
3. The communication process is presented as a strictly sequential process.

Encoded Decoded
Message Message


Fig. 1. Linear model of communication

b) Interactive model:

Pleas label the diagram illustrating the interactive model of communication:

Fig.2. Interactive model of commnication

The key feature of this model is ‘feedback’. The listener is not only decoding the message
sent, he is also responding to the feedback. This model also points out that communication
happens best when the ‘fields of experience’ of the sender and receiver are similar.

Shortcomings of this model:

1. This model presents communication as a sequential process.
2. The model designates one person as sender and the other as receiver.
3. It does not capture the dynamic nature of real life communication and how it
changes over time.

c) Transactional Model:

Please label the diagram below while understanding the model.

Fig.3. Transactional Model of Communication

This model attempts to take the strength of the past models and overcome the weaknesses of
the models.
This model accepts that noise is present through the whole process of communication. It also
takes into account the fact that how people communicate changes over time. It sees
communication taking place within social systems which have an impact on how
communication occurs. Communication is seen to happen when the field of experience of
both communicators coincide. Furthermore, this model doesn’t not assign the ‘terms’ of
sender or receiver to the people communicating, rather they are said to be ‘communicators’.
This shows that sending and receiving of messages is taking place continuously without any

3. Importance of Business Communication at work:

Please refer to handout 1(a). After reading the extract please answer the following questions:
i) Does communication seem important in the scenario described?
ii) If so, why?
iii) Name some problems that might be faced while communicating in such a
4. English and Business Communication:

1. Non-native English speakers have exceeded native speakers.

2. The majority of communication in English that takes place in the world today is for
business purposes between Non native speakers and Non native speakers who do not
have any language other than English in common to communicate.
3. High ranking and important jobs in Pakistan require a high proficiency in English
4. Many employers complain that today’s graduates do not have the required amount
of English language proficiency to survive in the job market.

5. Modern trends impacting workplace today:

1. Globalization
2. Downsizing
3. Flattened hierarchies
4. Team based projects
5. Specialization of tasks
6. New communication technologies
7. Diverse workforce
8. Focus on quality and customer needs
9. Entrepreneurship and Outsourcing
10. Rapid rate of change
11. Cross-cultural communication

Now refer to handout 1(b) and answer the questions given after the article.

Gerson, S. J. & S. M. Gerson. 2006. (5th ed.) Technical writing: Process and product. Pearson
education, India
Guffey, M. E. 2004. (6th Ed.) Essentials of Business Communication. Southwest, USA
Locker, K. O. 2003. (intl. ed.) Business and Administrative Communication. McGraw-Hill
Irwin, USA
Rizvi, A. M. 2005. Effective Technical Communication, Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing
company Limited, New Delhi
Trappe, T. & G. Tullis. 2006. Intelligent Business: Coursebook – Intermediate Business
English, Pearson education limited, China
Wood, J. T. 2004. (4th Ed.) Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters, Wadsworth,
New York, USA