Chapter 10 – Communication.docx

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Western University
Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2181A/B

Chapter 10Communication Communication is the process by which information is exchanged between a sender and a receiver Interpersonal communication involves the exchange of information between people Process and an Example Thinking Purchasing manager thinks I think were getting short on A40s Encoding Purchasing manger keyboards memo to assistant requesting that heshe order A40s Transmitting Purchasing manager sends memo by email Perceiving Assistant reads memo Decoding Assistant checks parts catalogue to determine what an A40 is Understanding Assistant realizes that he must place an order for flange bolts Feedback Assistant sends the manager a copy of the order Effective communication occurs when the right people receive the right information in a timely manner Violating any of these three conditions results in a communication episode that is ineffective Communication by Strict Chain of Command The chain of command refers to the lines of authority and formal reporting relationships in an organization Under this system three necessary forms of communication can be accomplished Downward communication Information that flows from the top of the organization toward the bottom A vicepresident of production might instruct a plant manager to gear up for manufacturing a new product Upward communication Information that flows from the bottom of the organization toward the top A chemical engineer who conceives of a new plastic formula with unique properties might pass this on to the research and development manager who would then inform the relevant vicepresident Horizontal Communication Information that flows between departments or functional units usually as a means of coordinating effort Within a strict chain of command such communication would flow up to and then down from a common manager Deficiencies in the Chain of Command The formal chain of command is an incomplete and sometimes ineffective path of communication Managers need to consider Informal communication The chain of command does not consider informal communication between members Informal communication helps people accomplish their jobs more effectively Not allinformal communication benefits the organization Filtering The tendency for a message to be watered down or stopped during transmission Both upward and downward filtering can occur The potential for filtering increases with the number of links in the communication chain Organizations often establish channels in addition to those in the formal chain of command Many managers establish an open door policyin which any organizational member below them can communicate directly without going through the chain To prevent downward filtering many organizations attempt to communicate directly with potential receivers bypassing the chain of command Slowness The chain of command can be very slow especially for horizontal communication between departments It is not a good mechanism for reacting quickly to customer problems Crossfunctional teams and employee empowerment have been used to improve communication by shortcircuiting the chain of command ManagerEmployee Communication The onetoone exchange of information between a boss and an employee A key element in upward and downward communication in organizations Perceptions that managers are good communicators are positively correlated with organizational performance Managers and employees often differ in their perceptions of the
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