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Chapter 11

MGM102 Textbook Chapter 11- Managing Communication, Conflict, and Negotiation.docx

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Dave Swanston

Textbook Notes Chapter 11- Managing Communication, Conflict, and Negotiation • Managers at all levels need to be good communicators in order for an organization to be effective and gain a competitive advantage • Ineffective communication is detrimental for managers, employees, and organizations; it can lead to conflict, poor performance, strained interpersonal relations, poor service, and dissatisfied customers Communication and Organizations • Communication- The sharing of information between two or more individuals or groups to reach a common understanding • When all members of an organization are able to communicate effectively with each other and with people outside the organization, the organization is much more likely to perform highly and gain a competitive advantage The Communication Process • Consists of two phases: 1. Transmission phase where information is shared between two or more individuals or groups 2. Feedback phase where a common understanding is reached • Sender- The person or group wishing to share information starts the transmission • Message- The information that sender wants to share • Encoding- Translating a message into understandable symbols or language • Noise- Anything that hampers any stage of the communication process • Receiver- The person or group for which a message is intended • Medium- The pathway through which an encoded message is transmitted to a receiver (phone call, letter, face to face, memo, etc) • Decoding- Interpreting and trying to make sense of a message (critical point in communication) • Failure to listen to employees prevents many managers from receiving feedback and reaching a common understanding with their employees; feedback eliminates misunderstandings, ensures that messages are correctly interpreted, and enables senders and receivers to reach common understanding Nonverbal Communication  • Verbal Communication- The encoding of messages into words either written or spoken • Nonverbal Communication- The encoding of messages by means of facial expressions, body language, and styles of dressing (can reinforce verbal communication) • Nonverbal gestures are culturally constructed, that is, different cultures perceive and interpret the symbols differently • Important to be aware of nonverbal aspects of communication as well as literally meaning of the words; particularly of the contradictions between the messages The Role of Perception in Communication • Perception- The process through which people select, organize, and interpret sensory input to give meaning and order to the world around them; it is subjective and influenced by people’s personalities, values, attitudes, moods, and culture, experience, and knowledge • Senders and receivers communication with each other based on their own subjective perceptions • Perceptual biases (systematic tendencies to use information about others in ways that result in inaccurate perceptions) can hamper effective communication • Stereotypes- Simplified and often inaccurate beliefs about the characteristics of particular groups of people • Instead of relying on stereotypes, communicators strive to perceive other people accurately by focusing on their actual behaviours, knowledge, sills, and abilities; accurate perceptions contribute to effective communication Information Richness and  Communication Media   • In choosing a communication medium for any message, individuals need to consider: 1. The level of information richness that is needed  Information Richness- Amount of information that a communication medium can carry and the extent to which the medium enables sender and receiver to reach a common understanding  Media high in information richness are able to carry a lot of information and generally enable receivers and senders to come to a common understanding 2. The time needed for communication  Managers and other organizational members’ time is valuable, and this affects the way messages should be sent 3. The need for a paper or electronic trail  An individual may want written documentation that a message was sent/received • Types of communication media: Face to Face communication • Highest information richness; take advantage of verbal and nonverbal communication • Many organizations are using videoconferences to capture some of the advantages of fave to face communication while saving time and money because individuals in different locations do not have to travel to meet with one another Spoken Communication Electronically Transmitted • Second highest in information richness • Phone conversations have the capacity to convey extensive amount of information and individuals also can ensure that mutual understanding is reached because they can get quick feedback over the phone and can answer questions Personally Addressed Written Communication • Also tend to demand attention and the sender can write the message in a way that the receiver is most likely to understand it • However, does not enable a receiver to have questions answers immediately but when messages are clearly written and feedback is provided, common understanding can be reached • Email  Guidelines from polite emailers follows: o Always punctuate messages o Do not ramble on or say more than you need to o Do not act as though you do not understand something, when you do o Pay attention to spelling and format  To avoid forms of email abuse, managers need to develop a clear policy specifying what company email can and should be used for and what is out of bounds  Increasing use of voice mails and email in companies large and small has led to ethical concerns because there forms of communication are not private Impersonal Written Communication • Well suited for messages that need to reach a large number of receivers; feedback is unlikely so managers must make sure that messages sent by this medium are written clearly in language that all receivers will understand • Some individuals may not read it so it is important that employees are made aware of important messages Developing Communication Skills Communication Skills for Senders • Individuals can make sure that they consider all steps of communication process when they are engaging in communication and develop skills in giving feedback: 1. Send clear and complete messages  A message is clear when it is easy for the receiver to understand and interpret and is complete when it contains all the information that the sender and receiver need to reach a common understanding 2. Encode messages in symbols the receiver understands  Important to use commonplace vocabulary and to avoid clichés that, when translated, may make little sense and in some cases are unintentionally insulting  Jargon- Specialized language that members of an occupation group, or organization develop to facilitate communication among themselves; should never be used to communicate with people outside the occupation, group, or organization 3. Select a medium appropriate for the message  Depends on the nature of the message and individuals need to take into account the level of information richness required, time constraints, and the need for a paper or electronic trail 4. Select a medium that the receiver monitors  Learning which individuals like things in writing and which prefer face to face interactions and then using the appropriate medium enhances the chance that receivers will actually receive and pay attention to messages 5. Avoid filtering and information distortion filtering  Filtering- Withholding part of a message out of the mistake belief that the receiver does not need or will not want the information (most likely to take place when messages contain bad news or problems that subordinates are afraid they will be blamed for)  Information Distortion- Changes in the meaning of a message as the message passes through a series of senders and receivers o Accidental due to faulty encoding/decoding or lack of feedback or deliberate due to senders wanting to look good/receive special treatment o Grapevine- An informal communication network among people in organizations that is based on gossip network  Managers need to establish trust throughout the organization to eliminate barriers and to have effective communication throughout their organization 6. Include a feedback mechanism in messages  Either include a request for feedback or indicate when and how they will follow up on the message to make sure that it was received and understood 7. Provide accurate information rumour  Rumours- Unofficial pieces of information of interest to or
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