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Chapter 10

MGHB02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Nonverbal Communication, Organizational Communication, One Down

Course Code
Melissa Warner

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Chapter 10 | Communication
What is Communication
oProcess by which information is exchanged between a sender and a receiver.
oInterpersonal communication involves the exchange of information between two
oSimplest prototype for interpersonal communication is a one-on-one exchange
between two individuals.
Errors lead to a lack of correspondence between the sender’s initial thoughts and the
receiver’s understanding of the intended message. Slip of finger can lead to improper
encoding. Poor email system leads to ineffective transmission.
Effective Communication
oCommunication whereby the right people receive the right information in a timely
manner. Violation of any three results in ineffective communication.
Basics of Organizational Communication
Communication by Strict Chain of Command
oChain of Command
Lines of authority and formal reporting relationships.
Three necessary forms of communication can be accomplished.
Downward Communication
oInfo that flows from the top of organizations to the bottom.
Upward Communication
oInfo flows form bottom of organization towards the top.
Horizontal Communication
oInformation that flows between departments or functional
units, usually as a means of coordinating effort.

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Chapter 10 | Communication
oWithin a strict chain of command, such communication
would flow up to and then down from a common manager.
Deficiencies in the Chain of Command
oInformal Communication
The chain of command does not consider informal communication
between members.
Informal communication helps people accomplish their jobs more
Not all informal communication benefits the organization.
The tendency for a message to be watered down or stopped during
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
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.
Managers and employees often differ in their perceptions of the following issues:
oHow employees should and do allocate time.
oHow long it takes to learn a job.
oThe importance employees attach to pay.
oThe amount of authority the employee has.
oThe employee’s skills and abilities.
oThe employee’s performance and obstacles to good performance.
oThe manager’s leadership style.
These perceptual differences suggest a lack of openness in communication, which might
contribute to role conflict and ambiguity.
A lack of openness in communication reduces employee job satisfaction.
Conflicting Role Demands causes communication problems between M and E
oMany managers have difficulties balancing task and social-emotional role

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Chapter 10 | Communication
oTwo separate messages that focus on task and social-emotional issues will be
more effective than one message that combines both.
Voice, Silence, and the Mum Effect
oConstructive expression of disagreement or concern about work unit or
organizational practices.
oSpeaking up, and can be contrasted with silence, which in this context means
withholding relevant information.
oMight be directed horizontally, to teammates, or vertically, to the boss or to
management in general.
oConsidered organizational citizenship behaviour, enabling organizations to learn
and change.
oSpeaking up can be perceived as risky due to inherent power differentials in
oMore satisfied employees who identify more strongly with their work unit or
organization are most likely to speak up, as those who are conscientious and
Psychological Safety
oShared belief that it is safe to take social risks.
oHigh “voicers” report less work stress than those who remain silent.
Self-censorship results in silence.
Mum Effect
oTendency to avoid communicating unfavourable news to others.
oPeople rather keep mum than talk bad news to provoke negative reactions.
oGoes both ways; employees employers, vice versa.
The Grapevine
oAn organization’s informal communication network.
oThe grapevine cuts across formal lines of communication.
oThe grapevine does not just communicate information through word of mouth.
Also use emails, notes, fax, etc.
oOrganizations often have several grapevine systems.
oTransmits information that is relevant to the performance of the organization as
well as personal gossip.
How accurate is the grapevine?
oPersonal information and emotionally charged information are most likely to be
oOnly a proportion of those who receive grapevine news pass it on.
Who participates in the Grapevine?
oPersonality characteristics play a role in grapevine participation.
Extraverts pass on information rather than introverts.
People with low self-esteem pass on info that gives them advantages.
oThe nature of the information also influences who chooses to pass it on.
oThe physical location of organizational members is also related to the opportunity
to both receive and transmit information via the grapevine
Pros of the Grapevine
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