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Lec 16 Communication.docx

Management (MGH)
Course Code
Joanna Heathcote

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Lec (16) 5 Communication and persuasion
What is Communication?
The process by which information is exchanged between a sender and a receiver.
Interpersonal communication involves the exchange of information between people.
The simplest prototype for interpersonal communication is a one-on-one exchange between two individuals.
A Model of the Communication Process and an Example
Purchasing manager thinks, “I think we’re getting short on A-40s.”
Purchasing manger keyboards memo to assistant requesting that he/she order A-40s.
Purchasing manager sends memo by email.
Assistant reads memo.
Assistant checks parts catalogue to determine what an A-40 is.
Assistant realizes that he must place an order for flange bolts.
Assistant sends the manager a copy of the order.
The model demonstrates a number of points at which errors can occur.
Effective communication occurs when the right people receive the right information in a timely manner.
Violating any of these three conditions results in a communication episode that is ineffective.
There are a few basic issues about organizational communication.
Communication by Strict Chain of Command
The chain of command refers to the lines of authority and formal reporting relationships in an organization.
Under this system, three necessary forms of communication can be accomplished:
1. Downward communication
2. Upward communication
3. Horizontal communication
Downward Communication
Information that flows from the top of the organization toward the bottom.
A vice-president of production might instruct a plant manager to gear up for manufacturing a new product.
The plant manager would then provide specifics to supervisors, who would instruct the production workers.
Upward Communication
Information that flows from the bottom of the organization toward the top.
A chemical engineer who conceives of a new plastic formula with unique properties might pass this on to the
research and development manager, who would then inform the relevant vice-president.
Horizontal Communication
Information that flows between departments or functional units, usually as a means of coordinating effort.
Within a strict chain of command, such communication would flow up to and then down from a common

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Deficiencies in the Chain of Command
The formal chain of command is an incomplete and sometimes ineffective path of communication.
Managers need to consider:
Informal communication
Informal Communication
The chain of command does not consider informal communication between members.
Informal communication helps people accomplish their jobs more effectively.
Not all informal communication benefits the organization.
The tendency for a message to be watered down or stopped during transmission.
Both upward and downward filtering can occur.
The potential for filtering increases with the number of links in the communication chain.
Organizations often establish channels in addition to those in the formal chain of command.
Many managers establish an open door policy, in which any organizational member below them can
communicate directly without going through the chain.
To prevent downward filtering, many organizations attempt to communicate directly with potential receivers,
bypassing the chain of command.
The chain of command can be very slow especially for horizontal communication between departments.
It is not a good mechanism for reacting quickly to customer problems.
Cross-functional teams and employee empowerment have been used to improve communication by short-
circuiting the chain of command.
Manager-Employee Communication
The one-to-one exchange of information between a boss and an employee.
A key element in upward and downward communication in organizations.
Perceptions that managers are good communicators are positively correlated with organizational performance.
How Good Is Manager-Employee Communication?
Managers and employees often differ in their perceptions of the following issues:
How employees should and do allocate time.
How long it takes to learn a job.
The importance employees attach to pay.
The amount of authority the employee has.
The employee’s skills and abilities.
The employee’s performance and obstacles to good performance.
The manager’s leadership style.
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