(Handout) ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR

CHAPTER 7:
COMMUNICATION

What Is Communication?
Communication is the sharing of information between two or more individuals or groups to reach a common understanding.

Communication components:
Sharing of information Reaching of a common understanding

The Communication Process The Communication Process
Context Participants (Sender, Receiver) Messages Encoding Channels - (Formal, Informal) - Communication Noise Feedback The Medium

Verbal vs. Non-Verbal communication
Verbal communication Nonverbal communication

Barriers to Effective Communication Noise Filtering

The Communication Process Ways to Improve Communication
Selective Perception Defensiveness Language Improve Sending Messages Effective Listening

Communication Communication Communication Communication Communication Communication Communication Communication Principles has purpose is continuous messages vary in conscious encoding is relational is culturally bound has ethical implications is learned Functions of Communication Interpersonal Communication Oral Communication Written Communication Nonverbal Communication Gender Communication Differences Communication Networks Communication Networks Guidelines for Effective Speaking Determine the purpose of your communication Consider issues of time and space Adapt to your listeners Use appropriate vocabulary Practice voice control Use appropriate gestures Organize your presentation Guidelines for Active Listening Control the physical environment Be alert Be mentally prepared Be emotionally prepared Be attentive Read nonverbal cues Distinguish among facts. inferences. and value judgments Offer and Solicit Feedback .

If people either do not receive the information or understand the meaning. seating. Because the interpretation of information affects job performance. then communication has not taken place. rather an understanding of the message). If people lack needed information because it has not been shared. if a common understanding of a message is lacking.” The Art of Leadership (Max De Pree. Author) The Communication Process Context • Physical – where communication takes place. The Importance of Communication Skills “Top executives from Fortune 500 companies rate communications skills as the most important quality for business leaders. (This does not mean agreement. the distance between participants. Communication is critical for organizational effectiveness. time of day Social – the nature of the relationship Historical – the background of previous communication Psychological – the moods and feelings Cultural – the set of The Communication Process Encoding Channel Decoding • • • • Message Message Source Receiver Feedback .What Is Communication? Communication is the sharing of information between two or more individuals or groups to reach a common understanding.” New York Times (Business Section) “There may be no single thing more important in our efforts to achieve meaningful work and fulfilling relationships than to learn and practice the art of communication. they cannot perform their jobs well. Communication has two components: the sharing of information and the reaching of a common understanding. workers cannot coordinate their efforts to achieve organizational goals. the environment.

If a sender is vague or unsure about the message. Jargon. affects good communication. Although jargon facilitates communication because a single term describes a complex idea. group. group. and rumors. Effective messages are clear and complete. or organization to communicate Receiver: the individual. Follows the chain of authority and command. communication is ineffective. Senders must have basic writing and oral communication skills. poor listening. A message is clear if it is easily interpreted or understood. or organization for which the information is intended A sender might be a supervisor with instructions about performing a task and a receiver might be a new worker. specialized language of members of a profession or occupation. values. • Informal communication is more spontaneous communication occurring without regard for the formal channels of communication. it leads to ineffective communication when receivers are outside the occupation or profession. sounds. • External noise – the sights. A sender must use words the receiver understands. or organization that needs or wants to share information with another individual. and other stimuli that draw people’s attention away from intended message • Internal noise – the thoughts and feelings that interfere with meaning • Semantic noise – alternate meanings aroused by a speaker’s symbols Feedback . lack of or inappropriate feedback. which many employees lack. group. (The ‘grapevine’ Gossip spread by spoken communication) Noise “Interferes with the communication process” Managers should decrease noise by increasing the readability and clarity of written communication or fixing broken answering machines and problematic e-mail systems. and norms that are shared by a large group of people Participants Sender: the individual. A message is complete if it contains the information to achieve a common understanding between the sender and the receiver. Messages The information the sender needs or wants to share with other people. Channels Communication • Formal communication refers to messages that use formally established channels. Encoding “Translating the message into symbols or language that the receiver can understand” A supervisor sends a message about policy changes to subordinates by encoding it in a memo. There are four communications problems in organizations: filtering and information distortion.beliefs.

either spoken or written. Verbal communication can take the Decodes Sender Encodes Decodes Message Receiver Encodes Feedback .The Communication Process Noise The Medium “The pathway through which an encoded message is transmitted to a receiver” Verbal communication is the sharing of information by means of words.

responding with the requested information. The sender decodes the response and determines if the receiver properly interpreted the message. A complex message is best conveyed in written form for further reference. Barriers to Effective Communication Communication and Ways to Improve Noise interferes with the communication process. to ensure receipt and understanding of the message. letters. and a sense of camaraderie. and children in orphanages show that touch is necessary for psychological well-being. facial expression.. Withholding negative information results in real or potential disasters.form of face-to-face oral communication. experience. such as resentment. such as termination or promotion messages. raises self-confidence. transmitted electronically through e-mail or fax machines. it is wise to send through several forms (e. The medium should be appropriate for the message. choosing a medium the sender monitors. and other personal characteristics. Certain messages are best conveyed face-to-face. ignoring receipt of the message.g. • • • Selective Perception Receivers in the communication process selectively see and hear based on their needs. The receiver then responds. Nonverbal communication communicates support. and rumors. acceptance. If not. A variety of responses are possible: acknowledging receipt of the message. When a message is important. poor listening. background. information that could have prevented the crash. the process is complete. or gestures may convey a different message. Hugs express powerful emotions and feelings. the elderly. Language Words mean different things to different people. written). body language. lack of or inappropriate feedback. the process continues until both parties reach an understanding. A hug reduces stress. Studies of newborns. Defensiveness When individuals interpret another’s message as threatening. There are four communications problems in organizations: filtering and information distortion. Improve Sending Messages . motivations. telephone communication. Managers should decrease noise by increasing the readability and clarity of written communication or fixing broken answering machines and problematic email systems. starting the feedback loop. A supervisor remains unaware of a minor problem until it is too late to resolve. and makes people feel connected. and reports. they often respond in ways that retard effective communication. Nonverbal communication is used when people feel uncomfortable about expressing part of a message verbally. Some prefer face-to-face communication whereas others prefer written communication. A sender says “Congratulations!” verbally. Filtering occurs when senders withhold part of a message because they think the receiver does not need or want the information. The receiver encodes the message. If so. Investigations into airline crashes revealed that junior crew members were reluctant to transmit important information to the captain. it is difficult to conceal insincerity nonverbally. A final guideline is to use multiple media when necessary. Supervisors filter information by not telling subordinates’ details about downsizing. his or her tone of voice. face-to-face. It is important to choose a medium the receiver monitors and prefers. and written communication using memos. and even dress. Because each medium of verbal communication has advantages and disadvantages. Nonverbal communication is the sharing of information by means of facial expressions. or asking for clarification. People have less control over nonverbal communication. guidelines can assist the selection of a medium.

Avoid distracting actions or gestures. Effective Listening Communication Principles • • • • • • • Communication has purpose Communication is continuous Communication messages vary in conscious encoding Communication is relational Communication is culturally bound Communication has ethical implications Communication is learned Functions f Communication Communication affects most aspects of organizational behavior. Ask questions. Avoid interrupting the speaker.• • • • • • • • • • • • Clarify ideas before communicating Motivate the receiver Communicate feelings as well as facts Be aware of nonverbal behavior Obtain feedback Make eye contact Exhibit affirmative head nods and appropriate facial expressions. Knowledge is critical for newcomers because only through effective communication do they learn organizational expectations. Effective communication is important for coordinating groups and for motivating workers. Make smooth transitions between the roles of speaker and listener. and expressing feelings and emotions. Don’t over talk.. The functions of communication in organizations include: providing knowledge. goals. Knowledge is also important for experienced employees because tasks. motivating organizational members. . Information Functions of Communication Control Motivation Information Emotional Expression Communication provides knowledge to organizational members to perform jobs effectively and achieve goals. controlling and coordinating individual efforts.

Face-to-face communication is the medium highest in information richness for two reasons. Interpersonal Communication • • Oral Communication – Advantages: Speed and feedback. The next-highest medium in information richness is verbal communication electronically transmitted over phone lines. but omits immediate feedback. rules. Media high in information richness not only transmit more information but also generate a common understanding. Both models indicate that motivation depends on what managers communicate. the coordinated communication efforts increase. Senders should make sure that receivers check their messages. – Disadvantage: Distortion of the message.responsibilities. Goal. – Disadvantages: Time consuming and lacks feedback. Expressing Emotions Feelings and Communication allows people to express feelings and emotions. and policies constantly change. By communicating moods and emotions. perception. from the tone of voice and inflections). Information Richness Media differ in information richness—the amount of information carried and how much they enable senders and receivers to reach understanding. Both allow senders to leave messages for receivers. Voice mail and answering machines are electronic verbal media. and evaluation of people and situations. Controlling Efforts and Coordinating Individual Groups and organizations exert control by communicating information about roles. employees understand each other and can work together to achieve goals.setting theory suggests that managers set specific difficult goals to motivate workers to perform at a high level. A group might communicate to a new member that social loafing is unacceptable. Written Communication – Advantages: Tangible and verifiable. Because workers’ moods influence behavior. Supervisors and coworkers are more accepting of a worker’s lack of enthusiasm if there is a personal problem. Senders receive instant feedback and clarify ambiguous information until understanding is reached. Although a receiver does not see facial expressions or body language. Motivating Members Organizational Communication plays a central role in motivating employees to achieve goals. The expectancy theory of motivation suggests that managers should clarify outcomes obtained for a high performance level.. The receiver has a verbal and nonverbal message for additional information to decode the message. some nonverbal communication such as voice tones and hesitations decode a message. As interdependence increases. .g. Communication helps coordinate the efforts of individuals. Communication allows receivers to gather nonverbal information (e. Communication ensures that workers continue to understand the tasks needed to achieve organizational goals. Video telephone allows for nonverbal communication. Telephone conversations provide instant feedback to clear up misunderstandings. and norms to them. it is important to communicate these emotions to others.

• Nonverbal Communication .

members communicate with those.g.g. emergency room teams). This flow ensures that workers access the information they need for their jobs. experience. projects. most information travels through one member. adjacent to them.g. (e. seating or office location). The chain characterizes hierarchical communication. groups of sales representatives covering different geographical regions). Actual communication patterns differ from those in an organization chart because communication often flows around issues. who receives all messages from other group members and is the sole sender of messages to them. and problems. All-channel communication allows group members to coordinate complex tasks (e. whereby information flows up and down the hierarchy. In a chain network.g. Most communication flows to and from the leader of the group (e. Although reporting relationships on an organization chart are somewhat stable. interests. Each member communicates with individuals on either side in the chain. This can be physical adjacency. Organizational communication networks are determined by formal reporting relationships. goals. not vertically through the chain of command. It can refer to similarity on some dimension (e. a number of types of networks might develop.. This network type is common when tasks have pooled interdependence. depicted by organization charts. an assembly line). or area of expertise). the chain.. Commo Small-Group n Networks Criteria Speed Chain Wheel Small Group Network Effectiveness Networks Chain Wheel All-Channel Fast Moderate None Moderate Fast High Moderate High High Accuracy Emergence of Leader All-Channel Member Satisfaction Moderate Low High . as members depend on one another. Other members communicate only with the central member and do not communicate directly with each other. In an all-channel network.g. the circle. This network is for sequential task interdependence (e. Disadvantage: Misperception of body language or gestures can influence receiver’s interpretation of message. Members on the ends of the chain communicate with only one individual... In a wheel network. In the circle network. actual communication patterns change as conditions in the organization change. Communication flows up and down the chain of command. This occurs in reciprocal task interdependence. New patterns of communication are developed as the type of information needed changes.– – Advantages: Supports other communications and provides observable expression of emotions and feelings. including the wheel. as members work independently and do not need to communicate. communication flows sequentially from one group member to the next. Communication Networks In work groups. every member communicates with every other member. Communication may flow between members from similar backgrounds.. and the all-channel.

and value judgments • Offer and Solicit Feedback ******************************* . inferences.Guidelines for Effective Speaking • • • • • • • Determine the purpose of your communication Consider issues of time and space Adapt to your listeners Use appropriate vocabulary Practice voice control Use appropriate gestures Organize your presentation Men Gender Communication Differences Women Gives advice quickly and directly Avoids asking for information Less sensitive to nonverbal cues Gives advice indirectly and reluc tantly Frequently asks for inform ation More sensitive to nonv erbal cues Guidelines for Active Listening • Control the physical environment • Be alert • Be mentally prepared • Be emotionally prepared • Be attentive • Read nonverbal cues • Distinguish among facts.

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