Book Notes

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Published on 1 Jun 2011
Chapter 10: Communication
What Is Communication?
Communication: The process by which information is exchanged between a sender
and a receiver.
Effective Communication: Occurs when the right people receive the right
information in a timely manner.
Communication by Strict Chain of Command
There are 3 main forms of communication under the chain of command:
oDownward Communication: Flows from the top of the organization toward
the bottom. (Ex: VP -> Plant Manager -> Production Manager ->
Subordinates) directives and objectives usually flow down
oUpward Communication: Flows from the bottom of the organization
toward the top. (Ex: Engineer -> Research Manager -> VP) ideas usually
flow up
oHorizontal Communication: Occurs between departments or functional
units, usually as a means of coordinating effort
Deficiencies in The Chain of Command
Informal Communication
oChain of command fails to consider informal communication between
oFiltering is the tendency for a message to be watered down or stopped
altogether at some point during transmission according to the environment,
nature of subject, and person you are speaking with
oUpward filtering occurs when employees are afraid their boss will use the
information against them
oDownward filtering occurs due to time pressures or, usually because
managers usually only pass down enough so that they can maintain an edge
over them
oTo inhibit upward filtering, managers establish an open door policy where
any employee below them can communicate directly to them without going
through the chain of command
oTakes time for information to relay upwards and downwards, but even longer
to go horizontally between departments (cross-functional teams combat this
How good is Manager-Employee Communication?
Managers and Employees differ in their perceptions of: how employees should
allocate their time, how long it takes to learn a job, importance of pay, authority of
an employee, employee skills and abilities, and managers leadership style suggests
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lack of open communication, contributing to role ambiguity and conflict, thus
reducing job satisfaction
Barriers to Effective Manager-Employee Communication
Conflicting Role Demands
oMany managers have difficulty balancing their task demands and the social-
emotional functions
oEx. Congratulations on your promotion, I expect that you will now take on a
greater role -employee might perceive this as they have not been doing his
work previously
Mum Effect
oThis is the tendency to avoid communicating unfavorable news to others
oEmployees with strong aspirations for upward mobility are especially likely to
do so
oUsually those who are responsible for the bad news keep mum ex.
Managers usually tell the employees that did well in their evaluations that
did do well, but inhibit their communication between those who didnt do so
well as they themselves were the ones evaluating them
Characteristics of the Grapevine
The Grapevine: The informal communication network that exists in any
Forms: word of mouth, email, notes, fax, etc
Can transmit information relevant to performance of organization as well as gossip
Grapevine is 75% accurate in transmitting organization related information, but
personal information usually gets more distorted
Extraverts are more likely to pass on information, introverts usually listen and
Location and nature of information regulate the information that is passed
People that interact with others on a daily basis are more likely to participate in the
grapevine ex. Mail carriers and IT people
Pros and Cons of the Grapevine
Grapevine keeps employees informed about important organizational matters
Can be used to test employee reactions to proposed changes without formal leaks
The grapevine extends outside the organization and can be used as a recruiting
Rumours: Unverified belief that is in general circulation in the grapevine
susceptible to distortion
Verbal Language of Work
COMVOC or common vocabulary becomes established within organizations (jargons
and abbreviations) become part of an organizations language, but cause barriers to
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