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SIXTH EDITION

CHAPTER 4
Information and
communication in
organisations
ORGANISATIONAL
ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
BEHAVIOUR

Learning Outcomes

Understand the role of information in organisations


Know how perception operates and what are the barriers to
perception
Be aware of the implications and limitations created by
information being asymmetrically distributed in the
organisation
Identify the constraints and errors produced by attribution
mechanisms

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ORGANISATIONAL
ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
BEHAVIOUR

Learning Outcomes

Understand how perception, asymmetries and attribution


influence information processing in organisations
Distinguish the impact of interpersonal communication forms
on information flows in the organisation
Be sensitive to communication patterns in the organisation
Put all of the factors influencing information flows together
and understand the overall structure of communication as well
as its complexity.

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Information in organisations

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Perception

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

The target of perception


• The characteristics of perceived objects, people and events are of
great importance in the formation of perceptions.
• Factors that effect first impressions:

Perceptual
Continuity Closure
grouping

Proximity Similarity

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

The setting
Contrast • The tendency to perceive stimuli that differ from
effect
expectations as being more different than they really are
National • The norms, behaviours, beliefs and customs existing in the
culture population of a sovereign nation.

Primacy • The effect by which the information first received often


effect continues to colour later perceptions of individuals.
• A decision bias linked to the primacy effect, where initial
Anchoring
information colours all subsequent information
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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

The perceiver

• Characteristics of the perceiver may explain why the same event,


person or object is perceived differently.

• Men and women seem to have a different perception of which


social-sexual behaviours they consider harassment.

• People have the tendency to seek and interpret information that


verifies existing beliefs (confirmation bias)

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Evidence about perception


• Basic research on perception deals with the interaction between
stimuli, psychological response and perceptual response.

• Countless examples of perceptual mechanisms at work in


organisations.

• In one study, jobseekers with facial piercings


were perceived as less suitable and as having
more negative characteristics than applicants
without piercings.

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Making sense

• A process
o Requires cue or signals from the environment (CHANGE)

SENSE- NEW
CUE ACTION
MAKING INFO

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Sensemaking as information processing


• What’s the difference between sensemaking and information
processing activities?
o Sensemaking linked to people’s identities and where they fit within the
organisation

o Organisations that apply sensemaking methods may be able to obtain a


clearer picture of what is important to members.

o If cues are present and they don’t trigger sensemaking, individuals and
organisations may continue as usual despite the existence of cues
suggesting otherwise.
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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Interpersonal communication

Figure 4.5
Communication
Competence
Affects Upward
Mobility

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Verbal communication
Oral: Written:
o Presentations o Letters
(mostly one-way)
o Emails
o Group
discussions o Meeting minutes
(mostly two-way) o Manuals
o Face-to face o Reports
conversations
(mostly two-way)

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Non-verbal communication

• Body movements and


gestures

• Touch

• Facial expressions

• Eye contact

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Active Listening

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Assertiveness, aggressiveness and non-assertiveness

• Assertive: pushing hard without attacking; permit others to influence


outcome; expressive and self-enhancing without intruding on others

• Aggressive: taking advantage of others;


expressive and self-enhancing at other’s
expense
• Non-Assertive: encouraging others to take
advantage of himself or herself; inhibited;
self-denying
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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Assertiveness, aggressiveness and non-assertiveness

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Assertiveness, aggressiveness and non-assertiveness

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Assertiveness, aggressiveness and non-assertiveness

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Application of interpersonal communication

• Describe the situation. Express your feelings and the impact the
other’s behaviour has on you.

• Empathise with the other person’s position / negotiate changes with


the other person

• Indicate in a non-threatening way, the possible consequences

• Summarise the agreed action, making expectations clear

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Application of interpersonal
communication

• SAYING NO:
o Don’t start to apologise.
o Keep it brief and simple
o Be clear that you refuse the request
o Use appropriate non-verbal behaviour
o Make use of the ‘broken record’
technique

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

The grapevine

• Grapevine:
o Unofficial communication system of the informal
organisation

• Pattern:

Liaison individuals
vs.
Organisational moles
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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Communication differences between men and women


• Men are less likely to ask for information or directions in situations that would
reveal their lack of knowledge
• Women are more likely to downplay their certainty; men are are more likely to
downplay their doubts.
• Women tend to apologise even when they have done nothing wrong. Men tend to
avoid apologies as signs of weakness or concession.
• Women tend to accept blame as a way of smoothing awkward situations. Men
tend to ignore blame and place it elsewhere.
• Women tend to temper criticism with positive buffers. Men tend to give criticism
directly.

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Communication differences between men and women

• Women tend to insert unnecessary and unwarranted thank-yous. Men may


avoid thanks altogether as a sign of weakness
• Women tend to ask “What do you think?” to build consensus. Men often perceive
that question to be a sign of incompetence or lack of confidence
• Women tend to give directions indirectly, men perceive this as confusing, less
confident or manipulative
• Men tend to take ideas stated by women and claim them as their own. Women
tend to allow this without protest.
• Women use softer voice to encourage persuasion and approval. Men use
louder voice to attract attention and maintain control.

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ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Choosing media to fit the purpose

Figure 4.9
A Contingency
Model for
Selecting
Communication
Media

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