Business Administration 2295F/G Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Jargon, Sit-Up, Sarcasm

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Chapter 10 – Communication
Communication – the process by which information is exchanged between a sender and
a receiver
-Interpersonal Communication: the exchange of info between people
- Sender must encode his thoughts into a form that can be transmitted to the
- Then, the receiver will provide feedback
- Is very prone to errors (miss-typing something, etc)
Thinking Encoding Transmitting Perceiving Decoding Understanding
Effective Communication – when the right people receive the right information in a
timely manner
Chain of Command – lines of authority and reporting relationships
Downward Communication – from the top of the organization toward the bottom
- Vice-president to plant manager
- Directive and instructions
Upward Communication – from the bottom of the organization up
- Chemical engineer to development manager
- Ideas and suggestions
Horizontal Communication – between departments or functional units, usually as a
means of coordinating effort
- In strict chains of command, the information would flow from the bottom up, then
up downwards from a common manager
Weaknesses of Chain of Command:
Slowness: slowest through horizontal communication
Not good for reacting quickly to customer problems
Organizations develop communications beyond the chain of command
Informal Communication – between members of an organization
- Chain of command ignores informal communication
- Helps people accomplish their jobs more effectively
- Can, however, damage the organization
Filtering – the tendency for a message to be watered down or stopped altogether at some
point during transmission, and is something of a double-edged sword
- Over filtering will stop the right people from getting the right information,
causing the organization to suffer
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- Upward filtering often occurs since employees are afraid their boss will use this
information against them
- Downward filtering often occurs because of time pressures of lack of attention to
Voice, Silence and the Mum Effect
Voice – the constructive expression of disagreement or concern about work unit or
organizational practices
- “Speaking up”
- Silence: withholding relevant information
- Horizontal, vertical, or general
- More satisfied employees who identify more strongly with their work are more
likely to speak
- Direct support for dissent as well as symbolic stories about what has happened to
those who exercise voice can be strongly relegated to the work climate
Psychological Safety – shared belief that it is safe to take social risks
- High voicers report less work stress than those who remain silent
- Self censorship will result in silence
Mum Effect – the tendency to avoid communicating unfavourable news to others
- “Keep mum” so they don’t have to say negative news
- Tendency is even more likely to keep silent when the sender is responsible or the
bad news
- Rumour Mill: University of Guelph – to counter the tendency toward the mum
effect and provide mechanisms for voice
Grapevine – informal communication network that exists in any organization
- Cuts across formal lines of communication
- Can be a written note, email, word of mouth, etc
- Many grapevine systems within organizations
- Job and personal related
- At least 75% of info is incorrect
- Extraverts more likely to be involved than introverts
- Low self-esteem individuals may pass on info that gives them personal
- Location: areas that receive a lot of work/traffic and jobs with a lot of movement
are more likely to pass on the grapevine
Pros/Cons of Grapevine:
- Keep employees informed (job security)
- Test employees reactions to proposed changes without making formal
commitments (managers leak info to see how they react)
- If info gets to the external world it can serve as recruitment assistance
- Can be pipeline for rumours, gossip, etc
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Rumour – unverified belief that is in general circulation
- Can be true, however, it is not likely to remain true as it travels around
- Spread fastest and farthest when info is ambiguous and info is important
Verbal Language of Work
Jargon – development of specialized language that members use to communicate with
one another
- Rosabeth Moss Kanter: goal was to facilitate communication among employees
who were often separated
oCOMVOC (common vocab) provided a common basis for interation
among virtual strangers
- Can be a barrier for clear communication between departments and new members
and outsiders
Non-Verbal Language – transmission of messages by some medium other than speaking
or writing
- Can be very powerful
- Body language, gestures, etc
Body Language – non-verbal communication that occurs by means of the sender’s
bodily motions and facial expressions or the sender’s physical location in relation to the
- Interest/Liking:
oBe close to the receiver
oTouch the receiver during interaction
oEye contact
oLean forward
oDirect torso
- Relaxation:
oCasual, asymmetric placement of arms/legs
oReclining, non-erect seating
oLack of fidgeting and nervous activity
- Hard to regulate body language when feeling strong emotions
- Especially important in employment interviews
Office Decore/Arrangement:
- Tidy, decorated with posters and plants, desk was against the wall
- Neat = well organized and has time to talk
- Desk against wall = no barriers
- Kimberly Elsback: middle managers in California used office décor to identify the
office occupant
- Sends message of competence, seriousness, and promotability
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