Chapter 7 - Communication
The Communication Process
People spend nearly 70 percent of their waking hours communicating—writing, reading, speaking, listening
Work Canada survey of 2039 Canadians in six industrial and service categories found:
o 61 percent of senior executives believed that they did a good job of communicating with employees.
o Only 33 percent of managers and department heads believed that senior executives were effective
o Only 22 percent of hourly workers, 27% of clerical employees, and 22% of professional staff reported
that senior executives did a good job of communicating with them.
Canadians reported less favourable perceptions about their company’s communications than did Americans.
– The transfer and
understanding of a message
between two or more people.
– Establishes a message, encodes
the message, and chooses the
channel to send it.
– Decodes the message and
provides feedback to the
– Converting a message to symbolic form.
– Interpreting a sender’s message.
4 factors that affect message E + D:
- Skill, attitudes (perception), knowledge (clarity of message), sociocultural system rank in hierarchy
– What is communicated.
– Actual physical product from the source after it is encoded
– Affected by method/gesture/codes/decisions
Communication depends on writing/reading skills also includes speaking, listening, and reasoning skills
– The medium through which a message travels.
– Selected by the source (who made the message) formal or informal?
– Informal: personal/social messages
– Formal: established by the organization
• Transmit message that pertain to the job-related activities of members
• Follow authority network of organization
– channel can distort a communication if a poor one is selected or if the noise level is high
• eg. Voice mail, email, meetings
– Why do people choose communicating via email rather than face-to-face?
• Communication apprehension
• Undue tension +_anxiety about oral communication, written communication, or
both Chapter 7 - Communication
• People use email even if its more appropriate to go things over in the phone
Information richness of communication channels
- Rich channels are:
o Handle multiple cues simultaneously words, postures, gestures, intonations
o Facilitate rapid feedback immediate (verbal/non-verbal)
o Be very personal (being there)
- Channel richness: amount of information that can be transmitted during a communication episode
- Choice of one channel depends
o Routine : straightforward, not a lot of ambiguity
o Non-routine: complicated, potential for misunderstanding (closing, layoff, restructuring, introduce
- Delivering bad news thru email? Could be effective because can be accurate, but face-to-face shows you truly
care about the people around you (co-workers)
- Feedback loop: final link in the communication process puts message back into the system as a check
against misunderstandings use 2 way communication : receive must tell sender comments
- Context: workplace formal, bus-stop informal (one has to be careful)
Barriers to Communication
a. Sender manipulating info so that receiver looks at it more favorably
b. When condensing information to managers
c. Lower-ranked employees: might use personal interests to determine what it impt. And what should
d. Major determinant: # of levels an org. has
i. More levels = more filtering
2) Selective perception
a. Receivers: process selectively see + hear based on their needs, motivations, experience, background,
and other personal characteristics
a. Engaging in behaviors such as verbally, attacking others, making sarcastic remarks, being too
judgmental, questioning others’ motives
b. Insensitiveness to others
4) Information overload
a. Condition in which information inflow exceeds an individuals’ processing capacity
b. If more info is selected out, ignored, passed over, and forgotten lost info and less effective
a. Diverse backgrounds, different patterns and jargon
b. Globalization new languages + cultures
c. Vertical levels: different language for managers/employees
6) Communicating Under Stress
a. How to make less stressful communication
i. Speak clearly – direct/straightforward
ii. Be aware of the nonverbal part of communicating – gestures, figurative, tone, facial
iii. Think carefully about how you state things calmly = accurately
- Direction of communication
Flow from 1 level of a group or organization to a lower level (manager employers)
Assign goals, provide job instruction, inform employees of policies and procedures, identify
problems that need attention, offer feedback about performance
Floors to a higher level in the group/org Chapter 7 - Communication
Performance reports by lower management middle/top management, employer attitude
surveys, grievance procedures, manager employee discussion, information sessions where
employee discuss problems with management)
Unionized orgs are more likely to use upward communication
Same work group, work groups @ same level, managers @ same level
Necessary to save time/ease coordination
Formally sanctions informally created to speed up action/short-circuit vertical hierarchy
GOOD: formal vertical structure can be inefficient/too slow so lateral
BAD: dysfunctional conflicts when vertical communication = breached
Small Group Networks
- Communication networks define