MSCI211 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Proxemics, Selective Perception, Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement

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Chapter 6: communication, conflict, and negotiation
The communication process:
o Rated communication skills as the most important characteristics of an idea job
o The transfer and understanding of a message between two or more people;
thought of as a process, or slow
o The send initiates a message by encoding a thought. The message Is the actual
physical product of the sender’s encoding
o Formal channels are established by the organization and transmit messages
related to the professional activities of members. They traditionally follow the
authority chain within the organization. Other forma of messages such as
persona or social, follow informal channels, which are spontaneous and emerge
as a response to individual choices.
o The final link in the communication process is a feedback loop. Feedback is a
check on how successful we have been in transferring our messages as originally
o Interactive and iterative process (the sender has to keep in mind the receiver
(audience) and finalizing the communication may decide to revisit decision about
the message, the encoding and the feedback
Choosing a channel: the channel is the medium through which a message travels.
Selected by the source, who must determine channel is formal and which one is
Channels differ in their capacity to convey information. Some are rich (handle multiple
cues at the same time, allow rapid feedback, and be very personal
Channel richness: the amount of information that can be transmitted during a
communication episode
Nonroutine messages are likely to be complicated and have the potential for
misunderstands (effectively by selecting rich channels)
Barriers to effective communication:
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o Filtering: occurs when a sender manipulated information so that the receivers
will view it more favourably. For example, when a manager tells a senior
executive what the manager thinks the executive wants to hear
the more vertical levels in the organization’s hierarchy, the more
opportunities there are for filtering
o Selective perception: receivers in the communication process selectively see and
hear based on their needs, motivations, experiences, background and other
personal characteristics
o Defensiveness: when people feel that they are being threatened, they tend to
read in ways that reduce their ability to achieve mutual understanding
o Emotions: extreme emotions such as jubilation or depression are most likely to
hinder effective communication
o Information overload: when the information we have to work with exceeds our
ability to process it, the result is information overloaded
o Language: communicating in the same language, words mean different things to
different people, age and context are two of the biggest factors that influence
such differences
o Silence: silence and withholding communication are both common and
Missing vital part of the message
o Nonverbal communication: messages conveys through body movements, facial
expression and physical distance between sender and receiver
The two most important messages that body language conveys are the
extent to which an individual like another and is interested in his or her
views and the relative perceived status between a sender and receiver
The way individual space themselves in terms of physical distance, is
called proxemics,
o Stress
Speak clearly, be aware of nonverbal part of communicating and think
carefully about how you state things
Current issues in communication:
Electronic communication:
o Email has added considerably to the number of hours worked per week
o Misinterpreting the message
o Communicative negative mileages
o Time-consuming nature of email (spam)
o Privacy concerns
Instant messaging and text messaging have bene popular and now being used in
o More people are using IM than than email
o Represents fast and inexpensive means for managers to stay in touch with
Social networking
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Blogs: OB in the street considers employers’ response to blogging: a website where
entities are written and generally displayed in reverse chorological order about news,
event and personal diary entities
Communication Barriers between women and men
The Essence of Deborah Tannen’s research is that men use talk to emphasize
status, while women use it to create connection. Women speak and hear a
language of connection and intimacy, while men speak and hear a language of
status and independence (men; conversation are primarily a way to preserve
independence and maintain status in a hierarchical social order
Women: conversations are negotiations for closeness in which people try to seek
and give confirmation and support
Men hear a problem, they often assert their desire for independence and control
by offering solutions, women view telling a problem as a means to promote
Women presents problem to gain support and connection, not to get male’s
Women say sorry to show empathy; men see it as weakness
Cross-cultural communication
Cultural barriers to communication:
o Barriers caused by semantic: words such efficiency, free market and regulation
cannot be translated directly into Russian: words imply different things in
different languages
o Tone difference and differences in perceptions
A guide to overcoming cross-cultural difficulties:
o Assume difference until similarity is proven
o Emphasizes description rather than interpretation or evaluation: interpret or
evaluate what someone said, no describe
o Be empathetic: before sending a message, put yourself in the recipients’ shoes
o Treat your interpretations as a working hypothesis: once you have developed an
explanation for a new situation with someone from a foreign culture, treat your
interpretation as a hypothesis that needs further testing rather than as a
How communication breakdown leads to conflict
Conflict must be perceived by the parties to it: if no one is war of the conflict, conflict
doesn’t exist.
Also involves opposition or incompatibility and some form of interaction between the
Conflict: process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively
affected, or is about to negatively affect
o Ongoing activity when an interaction crosses over to become an interparty
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