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Chapter 9

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Department
Business Administration
Course
BUS 272
Professor
Graeme Coetzer
Semester
Summer

Description
Chapter 9 – Communicating in Teams and Orgs  Communication – the process by which information is transmitted and understood b/w 2+ ppl  The Importance of Communication o Ppl can only work interdependently through communication → clarifying expectations/coordinate work, which allows them to achieve org objectives more efficiently and effectively o Effective communication minimizes silos of knowledge (where knowledge is cloistered rather than distributed to those who require info to make better decisions and perform jobs more effectively) o Also aids employee well-being → better coping when info to help manage situations is communicated  A Model of Communication o “conduit” metaphor for thinking about communications process o Communication flows through channels b/w sender and receiver  Sender forms msg, encodes it into words/gestures/voice intonations etc., msg is transmitted to intended receiver via transmission media, receiver senses incoming msg and decodes it into smt meaningful and provides feedback that’s decoded by the sender o Model recognizes that communication isn’t a free-flowing conduit; transmission is hampered by noise (psychological, social, structural barriers that distort and obscure sender’s intended msg) that may cause both parties to not have mutual understanding o Influences on effective encoding and decoding  4 factors that influence efficiency and effectiveness of comm process:  If both parties have similar “codebooks” – dictionaries of symbols, language, gestures, idioms etc. used to convey information o Allow for more accurate encoding and decoding due to similar meaning, and less need for redundancy and affirmation feedback  Extent to which both parties have similar mental models (internal representations of external world allowing us to visualize elements of a setting and relationships among those elements about context of info) – common understanding of context so less comm is necessary  Familiarity w/ msg topic – more efficient/colourful scripts to describe the subject  Proficiency w/ comm channel (e.g. email, telephone, etc.)  Communication Channels o Verbal communication – any spoken or written means of transmitting meaning through words  Face-to-face > written for transmitting emotions and persuading the receiver (allows for immediate feedback and adjustment of emotional tone)  Written > face-to-face for recording and presenting technical details (easier to follow) o Computer-mediated comm  E-mail is the most widely used computer-mediated comm medium b/c msgs are quickly written, edited and transmitted; asynchronous so no need to schedule comm session; software is efficient  Benefits: o Good for coordinating work and sending well-defined info for decision-making o Increases volume of comm and alters flow of that info w/in groups and throughout org: reduces face-to-face and telephone comm but increases comm w/ ppl further up the ladder  Differences less apparent than in face-to-face situations, although reliance on stereotypes may be increases  Problems: o Poor medium for communication emotions – lack of non-verbal cues to interpret emotional meaning of words o Reduces politeness and respect – less diplomatic than written letters, low social presence which can lead to “flaming” emails o Poor medium for ambiguous, complex and novel situations – requires comm channels that quickly send larger volumes of info and offer rapid feedback, while e-mail requires mutual understanding o Contributes to information overload  Social Networking Communication  Social Networking allows ppl to form communities around friendships, common interests, experience, etc. which results in closer interaction in comm experience  Some corporate leaders are resisting potential of Web 2.0, while others are proactive in leveraging the latter’s potential  Wikis – collaborative webspaces in which anyone in a group can write, edit or remove material from the website o Non-verbal communication – any part of communication that does not use words (e.g. facial gestures, voice intonation, physical distance, silence)  Necessary where noise or physical distance prevents effective verbal exchanges and need for immediate feedback precludes written comm  In face-to-face settings, most info is communicated non-verbally  Differences w/ verbal comm  Less rule-bound than verbal communication – more ambiguous, susceptible to misinterpretation, although some are hardwired and universal  Nonverbal comm is automatic and unconscious while verbal is conscious (i.e. planned)  Emotional contagion – the automatic and nonconscious tendency to mimic and synchronize one’s own nonverbal behaviours w/ those of other people  3 purposes o Mimicry provides continuous feedback, communicating that we understand and empathize w/ sender o A way of receiving meaning from those ppl o To fulfill the drive to bond - social solidary is built out of each member’s awareness of a collective sentiment; nonverbal expressions allow for sharing of emotions  Choosing the best comm medium o Social acceptance – how well the comm medium is approved and supported by the org, teams and individuals  Norms regarding use of specific comm channels  Individual preferences for specific comm channels  Symbolic meaning of channels (e.g. personal, professional, “cool”) o Media richness – the medium’s data-carrying capacity i.e. the volume and variety of info that can be transmitted during a specific time  High richness (e.g. face-to-face) – able to convey multiple cues, allow timely feedback , allows sender to customize msg to receiver, makes use of complex symbols  Rich media > lean media when comm situation is nonroutine and ambiguous, since there is little common experience, so need to transmit large volume of info w/ immediate feedback, require more comm to resolve any misinterpretations  Lean media good for routine situations since both parties have common expectations  Evaluating media richness theory – general research supports traditional channels, but mixed in computer-mediated co
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