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  • *By John C. Maxwell
  • »Effective communication is a basic pre-requisite for the attainment of organizational strategies and human resource management, but it has remained one of the biggest problems facing modern management.»Communication plays an important role in managerial and organizational effectiveness; on the other hand, ineffective communication is commonly cited as being the root of practically all the problems in the world. Some examples:Lover’s quarrel, ethnic prejudice, war between nations, the generation gap, industrial disputes, organizational conflicts»Motivation, decision-making, stress, organizational structure, to name but a few, can also contribute to problems. Yet it is true that communication is a central problem in most human and organizational activities.
  • »Some estimate the extent of the use of Communication at about three-fourths (3/4) of an active human beings life and even higher proportions of a typical manager’s time.»Managers devote a third of their time to Routine communication – exchanging and processing routine communication.»More important in this study is the finding that the communication activity made the biggest relative contribution to effective managers.
  • »This model describes two major dimensions of managerial communication on a day-to-day basis and can be used as a point of departure for formally defining communication and the interpersonal processes of communication in today’s organizations.»The first dimension represents a continuum ranging from the humanistic interactor (who frequently interacts both up and down the organization system and exhibits human-oriented activities) to the mechanistic isolate (who communicates very little, except on a formal basis).»The other dimension describes a continuum from the informal developer (who communicates spontaneously in all directions and exhibits activities related to develop his/her people) to the formal controller (who uses formally scheduled communication interaction and exhibits monitoring/controlling activities.)
  • »Figure 1.3 can be used to identify the major categories of communication that are especially relevant to the study of OB.
  • »Control: Employees are required to communicate any job-related grievance to their immediate boss; to follow their job description; or to comply with company policies. Note that informal communication also controls behavior.Motivation: Goal-setting, feedback on progress toward the goals, and reinforcement of desired behavior all stimulate motivation and require communication.Emotional Expression: Communication that takes place within the group is a fundamental mechanism by which members show their frustrations and feelings of satisfaction.Information: Communication facilitates decision-making process.
  • »This graph outlines the communication process between the sender and the receiver. The sender takes the message to be sent and encodes it either through verbal or written methods. They pass the message through the determined channel and then it is handed off to the receiver who receives the message and decodes it. The process is hindered by noise or communication barriers such as the perceived message. Feedback is the check on how successful we were in passing the correct message to the receiver.
  • »As communication takes place, there are many parts to the process. It begins with the sender initiating the message and encoding it by translating the thought to the message. The message itself is what is communicated. The channel is the medium through which it travels – writing, speaking, etc. The receiver, the person getting the message, then decodes the message in order to make sense out of it. Anything that interferes with the message is called noise. Feedback is information given back to the sender from the receiver on their initial message.
  • »There are a few different channels of communication in the workplace. The first type is formal channels. These channels transmit messages that are related to the professional activities of the members, such as email, memos, and planned speeches. The second type is informal channels, used to transmit personal or social messages. This channel is more spontaneous in nature and a result of individual choices, such as who you eat lunch with.
  • »In an organization communication flows in three different directions. It can flow downward from the top management to people in lower levels of the organization. It can flow up from workers on the ground floor to the CEO or it can flow between or within departments in a lateral movement.
  • »The downward process of communication is highly directive – giving orders, instructions, information, and procedures.»Daniel Katz and Robert Kahn, The Social Psychology of Organizations, 2nd ed., Wiley, New York, 1978, p. 440.
  • »Media Used for Downward CommunicationTraditionally, downward communication systems relied on many types of print and oral media to disseminate information. Examples are: Organizational handbooks, manuals, magazines, newspapers, memos, and letters.Today, almost all of this type of downward communications are done online. There are e–mails, “chat rooms” via Intranet or Internet.Although telecommunications technology is increasingly becoming interactive, oral communication is still an important medium for downward communication.
  • »Types of information for upward communication: 1) Personal information about ideas, attitudes, and performance; 2) More technical feedback information about performance, a vital factor for the control of any organization.»For #4)The HR department can facilitate upward communication by conducting non-directive, confidential counseling sessions; periodically administering attitude questionnaires; and holding exit interviews for those who leave the organization.
  • Empathy vs. Sympathy:Empathy: Putting yourself in the other’s shoe so you can understandSympathy: Feeling the same way and being overwhelmed by it»From Ms L.C. Duculan’s slides
  • »Examples for each of the major purposes of interactive communication traditionally have been departmental or interdepartmental meetings, but in recent years, they include teams and video conferencing. Written reports are also distributed across departments.Most of the classical theorists saw the need to supplement the vertical with some form of the horizontal system.Horizontal communication is required to make a coordinated, cross-functional effort in achieving organizational goals.The real key to horizontal communication is found in people and behaviors.Because of the dynamic, interpersonal aspects of communication, the interactive form seems to be more appropriate than the horizontal form.
  • »Oral: The chief means of conveying messages; speeches, formal one-on-one and group discussions, and the informal rumor mill or grapevine are popular forms of oral communication.»Written: Written communications include memos, letters, electronic mail, fax, transmissions, organizational periodicals, notices placed on bulletin boards, or any other device that is transmitted via written words or symbols. Written communications are well thought out, logical, and clear.
  • »There are many different types of nonverbal communication that send a lot of messages. Body movement is a common method, such as tapping your fingers can show that you are impatient or nervous. The way you emphasize words can change the way the receiver perceives the message. Your facial expressions can show emotion and express how you feel about an assignment or task. Also, the distance placed between the sender and receiver can express whether you are interested in the project of if you feel more powerful than the other person. This will vary by cultural norms.
  • »In an organizational context, communication is commonly broken down into three formal small-group networks. There is the chain, which is a very formal and rigid chain of command. Employees know who the next person in the chain is and that is where they give and get their information.»The wheel is a network where there is a central figure who controls all the communication. This must be a team with a very strong leader who can communicate effectively.»The all-channel network is much more fluid where all group members communicate actively with each other and there is no formal channel or single person. This works best in a situation such as a self-managed team.
  • »Small group networks vary in effectiveness. This chart looks at the different levels of effectiveness based on desired outcome.»This also leads us to conclusion that no single network will be best for all occasions.
  • »The Role of Informal OrganizationInformal contacts with others on the same level are a primary means of interactive communication. The informal system of communication can be used to spread false rumors and destructive information, or it can effectively supplement the formal channels of communication.» The grapevine is a common network that has been shown to be an effective mode of communication. Typically the grapevine is not controlled by management nor do they feed it information. However, employees see it as a very believable and reliable form of communication. The grapevine has no formal purpose, but is mainly there to serve the self-interests of those who use it, developing from a need for these individuals to get more information about an important, but ambiguous situation. The grapevine can be a way to receive information about the situation and reduce anxiety as well as fill a social need to connect.
  • »In any organization rumors will be present. Managers can’t completely eliminate rumors, but there are some steps to reduce rumors in an organizational context.»This will help to limit the number of rumors and help remove anxiety by taking out the ambiguity of a situation.
  • Other types of Media/Technology:Management Information System (MIS)Almost all information processing is done by computers.MIS not only involves generating, processing, and transmitting information; it also has a vital role in the strategy, the decision process, and management of knowledge in today’s organization.TelecommunicationsTelecommunications use telephone and television technologies and both a wireless system and a wired system built around fiber-optic links.Whether wireless or over fiber-optics, the telephone, television, and computer will combine to form a very powerful, but potentially user-friendly, communication system.TelecommutingThis is an outgrowth of the communications technology explosion with special relevance to Organizational Behavior.This development has resulted in the creation of new words that have become part of the everyday language of the business.It includes both flexible and scheduling and the use of advanced technology.Advantages for organization include increasing retention rates; helping with ADA (American Disability Act) compliance; maximizing office space; reducing absenteeism, sick time, and overtime pay.The disadvantages include the facts that telecommuting decreases face-to-face communication and flexibility; demands greater coordination; suitable only for certain jobs; and maybe abused by employees.» It has been show that over 70% of all communication in an organization is done electronically. This is highly advantageous and efficient for organizations because of the quick turn around, written record, and low cost of distribution. However, there are many disadvantages. The biggest problem with email is that the message is often misinterpreted. You can not read body language or see emotional cues when you read an email, so it is hard to decode the message that is sent. In addition, the volume of email has increased so significantly that it is overloading readers and causing frustration or anxiety. Email can also be misused because it tends to make the sender feel more removed from the situation and it may remove their inhibitions and cause them to write things they normally would not have said.
  • » We are in a current state where people want real-time communication when sending short messages. This is a growing area of interest in an organization due to the explosion of portable communication devices. Two commonly used methods are instant messaging and text messaging.
  • »Key Points for Networking Software:These are public spaces – anyone can see what you postCan be used for job application screeningAvoid “overstimulating” your contacts» A popular, but potentially dangerous activity:Employees may post harmful information Such comments may be cause for dismissalNo First Amendment rights protectionCan be against company policy to post in a blog during company time and on company equipment/connections» Now uses inexpensive webcams and laptops in place of formal videoconferencing rooms» Blogs and videoconferencing are two electronic methods of communications that are being used more in the field of business. Blogs are Web sites about a person, entity, or movement that are updated regularly. They are very popular but have caused some trouble for employees recently. If an employee posts something on their blog that is potentially damaging to the organization, they may be dismissed for that. Videoconferencing connects people in different locations through live audio and video. It is an inexpensive way to hold a meeting in different cities and not miss the important aspects of nonverbal communication.
  • »Feedback: can range from immediate to very slow»Channel: used to convey information and can range from a combination of audio and visual to limited visual»Type of Communication: personal versus impersonal»Language Source: including body language, natural, or numeric»As shown in Table 1.1, the richest form of communication is face-to-face. It provides immediate feedback and serves as a check on how well the information has been comprehended.
  • »An individual must carefully choose the channel of communication based on the message they want to send or the media richness. A “rich” channel will be able to handle multiple cues at the same time, facilitate rapid feedback, and be very personal. Different generations will see communication channels differently in this regard. Managers must take this into account when communicating.
  • » The media richness model sets forth the continuum between low channel richness and high channel richness. Memos and letters will fall on the low richness side where face-to-face communications will be on the high richness end.
  • »Example for #1: When faced with a simple situation, a manager should choose a medium that is low in richness. If a problem is very complex, he should choose a medium that is high in richness.»Example for #2: An example is the use of face-to-face communication to convey a simple, routine matter such as reminding someone to attend a weekly meeting; an email could easily accomplish this.»Example for #3: For example, posting a memo through the company Intranet relating that management has decided to downsize and terminate 10 percent of the workforce, is going to cause a great deal of concern and anxiety.
  • »There are a number of barriers to effective communication that can distort the message being sent. Let’s look at a few of those. Filtering is a common barrier where the sender sorts the information shared so that it will be seen as more favorable by the receiver. »Selective perception is something utilized by both the sender and the receiver. People selectively interpret what they see based on their own experiences and attitudes and that will distort the message sent and the message received.»As we have seen in this chapter there are many methods of communication and they are all being used. Each receiver is in a state of information overload where the information they are receiving exceeds their capacity to process it all. This leads to barriers of receiving the complete message.Also, how the receiver feels at the time the message is received will influence their interpretation of the message.
  • »Some additional barriers to effective communication include language, anxiety, and gender differences. »When communicating, words will mean different things to different people and can influence the message significantly. Often this causes confusion when the sender thinks they sent a certain message, but the receiver thought they meant differently.»Many people are nervous about oral or written modes of communication and will not be able to clearly communicate because of their anxiety.»Gender can also create a barrier because men will emphasize different things than women. For example, in general men tend to emphasize status while women talk more about connections.
  • » We exist in a PC or politically correct culture where lawsuits and media attention have forced organizations to become very concerned with avoiding any potentially offensive language. This is happening to such an extent that meaning and simplicity can be lost. However, that is not to say that certain words aren’t inappropriate to use and when used can incorrectly stereotype, intimidate, or insult others. Organizations need to find a balance in this area.
  • Source: Nancy J. Adler, International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior, South-Western, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1997, p. 68.
  • Communication, as we have seen, can be difficult to do effectively. Cross-cultural factors can increase that difficulty. So it is important for managers to understand the culture in which they are working. They should be careful of the words they use to make sure they are translatable and don’t hold double meanings. They need to understand how their tone, body language or perceptions will differ based on culture. The context is so important to understanding what is being communicated. In low-context cultures they tend to rely more on words, where high-context cultures will rely more on the whole situation.
  • Perceptions can affect international management, but misperceptions due to cultural differences can also become a barrier to effective communication.Examples of ethnocentrism in action that have been identified when U.S. business people deal with Asians:Frustration with the language, the food, the local customs.Quickly labeling the local ways of doing things as strange and inefficient, rather than trying to understand the rational basis behind them.Failure to recognize that when Asians seem to say one thing and do another, they consider their behavior as face saving rather than misleading or dishonest.U.S. business people forming their own clubs at which they complain about the difficulties they face, rather than socializing with the local people to find out what the culture is really about.
  • Answer: 1. E; 2.D; 3.F; 4.A; 5.B; 6.CThese were drawn from R. E. Axtell, The Do’s and Taboos of International Trade, Wiley, New York, 1991, pp. 83-84.
  • Answer: 1. E; 2.D; 3.F; 4.A; 5.B; 6.CThese were drawn from R. E. Axtell, The Do’s and Taboos of International Trade, Wiley, New York, 1991, pp. 83-84.
  • »Being aware that differences exist can go a long way toward helping you avoid an awkward situation in another cultural context. Be sure to work on emphasizing description of events and tasks rather than interpretation or evaluation. Practice empathy when you are communicating with others and watch your own interpretations to make sure you are not drawing conclusions prematurely.
  • »Barnard emphasized that the meaning and understanding must occur before authority can be communicated from manager to associate.»This seven (7) specific communication factors are especially important in establishing and maintaining objective authority in an organization.
  • »OTHER IMPORTANT VARIABLES IN INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATIONBesides feedback, other variables, such as trust, expectations, values, status, and compatibility, greatly influence the interpersonal aspects of communication.
  • »In communicating effectively, it is important to choose the “right” medium – and there are a wide range of choices.»The Role of Communication TechnologyLike downward communication, communication technology has had a tremendous impact on interactive communication.Examples of these are E-mails, Video-Conferencing, Chat Rooms, Information Sharing & Publishing, Document Management, and Corporate Directories.
  • Robbins: Chapter 10, from page 282-313Luthans: Chapter 10, from page 313-344Maxwell: Chapter 4, from page 26-27
  • Communication

    1. 1. Without it, you travel alone.*
    2. 2. Learning Objectives  Relate the perspective, historical background, and meaning of the communication process in the organizations  Identify the main functions of communication  Describe the communication process and distinguish between formal and informal communication  Discuss the specific downward, upward, and horizontal (interactive) interpersonal communication processes  Contrast oral, written, and nonverbal communication
    3. 3. Learning Objectives (cont’d)  Contrast formal communication networks and the grapevine  Analyze the advantages and challenges of modern communication technology  Show how channel richness underlies the choice of communication channel  Identify common barriers to effective communication.  Analyze communication across cultures and how to overcome potential problems
    4. 4. “Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter.” -Gilbert Amelio President and CEO of National Semiconductor Corporation
    5. 5. Contribution to Real Managers' Effectiveness Figure 1.1 Networking (11%) Traditional Management (19%) Human Resources Management (26%) Routine Communication (44%) Source: Fred Luthans, Richard M. Hodgetts, And Stuart A. Rosenkrantz, Real Managers, Ballinger, Cambridge, Mass., 1988, P. 68.
    6. 6. Background of the Role of Communication  In his classic Functions of the Executive: The pioneering theorist, Chester Barnard, was the first to develop the idea of the central, important role communication plays in the organization.  He was convinced that communication is the major shaping force of the organization.  According to him: “The absence of a suitable technique of communication would eliminate the possibility of adopting some purposes as a basis of organization. Communication technique shapes the form and the internal economy of organization.”
    7. 7. Modern Perspective Figure 1.2 (Managerial communication Humanistic interactor model: How managers communicate) Formal controller Informal developer Mechanistic isolate Source: Fred Luthans, and Janet K. Larsen, “How Managers Really Communicate,” Human Relations, Vol. 39, No. 2, 1986, p. 175.
    8. 8. Communication: Defined  Communication: The transference and understanding of meaning.  Most definitions of Communication used in Organizational Behavior literature stress the use of symbols to transfer the meaning of information.  Also, Communication is a personal process that involves the exchange of behaviors. Figure 1.3 (The continuum of communication in organizational behavior) Communication Media & Technology Interpersonal Communication Nonverbal Communication
    9. 9. Functions of Communication  Control member behavior  Organizations have authority hierarchies and formal guidelines that employees are required to follow.  Foster motivation for what is to be done  Supervisors need to clarify to employees what is to be done, how well they are doing, and what can be done to improve performance if it’s subpar.  Provide a release for emotional expression  Many employees feel that their work group is a primary source of social interaction.  Provide information needed to make decisions  Communication provides the information that individuals and groups need to make decisions by transmitting the data to identify and evaluate alternative choices
    10. 10. The Communication Process The steps between a source and a receiver that result in the transference and understanding of meaning.
    11. 11. Key Parts of Communication Process initiates message translating thought to message what is communicated the medium the message travel through the receiver’s action in making sense of the message person who gets the message things that interfere with the message a return message regarding the initial communication
    12. 12. Communication Channels The medium selected by the sender through which the message travels to the receiver.  Formal Channels Are established by the organization and transmit messages that are related to the professional activities of members.  Informal Channels Used to transmit personal or social messages in the organization. These informal channels are spontaneous and emerge as a response to individual choices.
    13. 13. Direction of Communication
    14. 14. Downward Communication  The purpose of the Downward Communication: Katz and Kahn identified five (5) general purposes of top-to-bottom communication in an organization: 1. To give specific task directives about job instructions 2. To give information about organizational procedures and practices 3. To provide information about the rationale of the job 4. To tell subordinates about their performance 5. To provide ideological information to facilitate the indoctrination of goals  As Katz and Kahn points out: “If people know the reasons of their assignment, this will often insure they are carrying out the job more effectively; and if they have an understanding of what their job is about in relation to their subsystem, they are more likely to identify with organizational goals.”
    15. 15. Downward Communication  Ways to Improve Downward Communication  Quality and richness  People should start using useful information and ignore useless information.  The use of the communication technology  Do not ignore the importance of the receiver.  If managers understand the impacts of communication on subordinates and start to do something about them, communication can become more effective.
    16. 16. Upward Communication  The upward process of communication is non-directive in nature.  The following are some possible ways to promote more effective upward communications: 1. The grievance procedure. This allows employees to make an appeal upward beyond their immediate manager. 2. The open-door policy. The manager’s door is always open to employees. 3. The use of e-mail. The use of e-mail today eliminates much of the intimidation of communicating upward. 4. Counseling, attitude questionnaires, and exit interviews.
    17. 17. Upward Communication (cont’d) 5. Participative techniques. This can generate a great deal of communication. This may be accomplished by either informal involvement of employees or formal participation programs. 6. An empowerment strategy. This involves giving employees not only the authority to make decisions, but also the resources, especially information, to get the job done and satisfy customers. 7. The ombudsperson (also called ombud). The concept has been used primarily in Scandinavia to provide an outlet for persons who have been treated unfairly or in a depersonalized manner by large, bureaucratic government. If set-up and handled properly, it may work where the open-door policy has failed.
    18. 18. How to Improve Upward Communication  The best and simplest way to improve upward communication is for managers to develop good listening habits and systems for listening.  Here are some practical guidelines to facilitate active listening: 1. Maintaining attention 2. Using restatement 3. Showing empathy 4. Using probes to draw the person out 5. Encouraging suggestions 6. Synchronizing the interaction by knowing when to enter a conversation and when to allow the person to speak.
    19. 19. Interactive Communication In Organizations  The purposes and methods of Interactive Communication: 1. Task coordination. The department heads may meet monthly to discuss how each department is contributing to the system’s goal. 2. Problem-solving. The members of a department may assemble to discuss how they will handle a threatened budget cut; they may employ brainstorming techniques. 3. Information sharing. The members of one department may meet with the members of another department to give them some new data. 4. Conflict resolution. The members may meet to discuss a conflict inherent in the department or between departments.
    20. 20. Interpersonal Communication Advantages: Speed and feedback Disadvantage: Distortion of the message Advantages: Tangible and verifiable (documented) Disadvantages: Time consuming and lacks feedback Advantages: Supports other communications and provides observable expression of emotions and feelings Disadvantage: Misperception of body language or gestures can influence receiver’s interpretation of message
    21. 21. Non-Verbal Communication  Non-verbal communication – sometimes called as the “silent language”; defined as “non-word human responses (such as gestures, facial expressions) and the perceived characteristics of the environment through which the human verbal and non-verbal messages are transmitted.”  Body Language and Paralanguage  Body Language – Body movements convey meanings and messages. This includes facial expressions and what people do with their eyes, feet, hands, and posture.  Paralanguage – This include things such as voice quality, tone, volume, speech rate, pitch, non fluencies (saying “ah”, “um”, or “uh”), laughing, and yawning.
    22. 22. Nonverbal Communication  Unconscious motions that provide meaning  Shows extent of interest in another and relative perceived status differences  The way something is said can change meaning  Show emotion  Depends on cultural norms  Can express interest or status
    23. 23. Improving Non-Verbal Effectiveness  Here are some suggestions to improve non-verbal communication: 1. Look at what is happening in the situation. 2. Consider the discrepancies between the non-verbal behavior and the verbal statements. 3. Watch for subtleties in the non-verbal behavior.  Cultural differences must also be recognized in non-verbal communication.  The following are a few guidelines affecting communication in various cultures:  Expect more physical closeness in Latin America;  the use of “thumbs up” is fine almost anywhere except, Australia; and  take your hands out of your pockets when meeting with Japanese.
    24. 24. Three Common Formal Small-Group Networks All Channel: Wheel: Chain: Rigidly follows the chain of command  Relies on a central figure to act as the conduit for all communication  Team with a strong leader  All group members communicate actively with each other  Self-managed teams
    25. 25. Small-Group Networks and Effectiveness Criteria
    26. 26. The Grapevine Three Main Grapevine Characteristics 1. Informal, not controlled by management 2. Perceived by most employees as being more believable and reliable than formal communications 3. Largely used to serve the self-interests of those who use it Results from:  Desire for information about important situations  Ambiguous conditions  Conditions that cause anxiety Insightful to managers Serves employee’s social needs
    27. 27. The Grapevine (cont’d) Suggestions to Reduce Rumors 1. Announce timetables for making important decisions. 2. Explain decisions and behaviors that may appear inconsistent or secretive. 3. Emphasize the downside, as well as the upside, of current decisions and future plans. 4. Openly discuss worst-case possibilities—they are almost never as anxietyprovoking as the unspoken fantasy. Source: Adapted from L. Hirschhorn, “Managing Rumors,” in L. Hirshhorn (ed.), Cutting Back (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1983), pp. 54-56. With permission.
    28. 28. Communication Media & Technology Advantages: quickly written, sent, and stored; low cost for distribution Disadvantages: Messages are easily and commonly misinterpreted Not appropriate for sending negative messages Overused and overloading readers Removes inhibitions and can cause emotional responses and flaming Difficult to “get” emotional state understood – emoticons Non-private: e-mail is often monitored and may be forwarded to anyone
    29. 29. Communication Media & Technology Forms of “real time” communication of short messages that often use portable communication devices. Explosive growth in business use Fast and inexpensive means of communication Can be intrusive and distracting Easily “hacked” with weak security Can be seen as too informal Instant Messaging: Immediate e-mail sent to receiver’s desktop or device Text Messages: Short messages typically sent to cell phones or other handheld devices
    30. 30. Communication Media & Technology Linked systems organically spread throughout the nation and world that can be accessed by a PC: Includes: Social networks like Twitter® and Facebook® Professional networks like Zoominfo® and Ziggs® Corporate networks such as IBM’s BluePages®  Blogs: Web sites about a single person (or entity) that are typically updated daily  Videoconferencing: uses live audio and video Internet streaming to create virtual meetings
    31. 31. The Matter of Information Richness  Information Richness can be defined as “the potential informationcarrying capacity of data.”  If the medium conveys a great deal of information, it is high in richness; if it conveys very little information, it is low in richness.  Alternative media can have varying degrees of information richness.  Information Richness can be measured by four (4) factors: 1. Feedback 2. Channel 3. Type of Communication 4. Language Source
    32. 32. Information Richness for Different Media Table 1.1 Information Richness Channel Type of Communication Language Source Medium Feedback High Face-to-face Immediate Visual, audio Personal Body, natural High/Moderate Telephone Fast Audio Personal Natural Moderate Personal written Slow Limited visual Personal Natural Moderate/Low Formal written Very Slow Limited visual Impersonal Natural Low Formal numeric Very Slow Limited Visual Impersonal Natural Source: Adapted From R. L. Daft And R. H. Lengel, “Information Richness: A New Approach to Managerial Behavior and Organization Design,” in B. M. Staw And L. L. Cunnings (Eds.), Research n Organizational Behavior, JAI Press, Greenwich, Conn., 1984, P. 197.
    33. 33. Choice of Communication Channel  The model of “media richness” helps explain an individual’s choice of communication channel Channels vary in their capacity to convey information  A “rich” channel is one that can: Handle multiple cues simultaneously Facilitate rapid feedback Be very personal  Choice depends on whether the message is routine  High-performing managers tend to be very media-sensitive
    34. 34. Choice of Communication Channel Low channel richness Low channel richness High channel richness High channel richness Source: Based On R.H. Lengel And D.L. Daft, “The Selection Of Communication Media As An Executive Skill,” Academy Of Management Executive, August 1988, Pp. 225–32; And R.L. Daft And R.H. Lengel, “Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness, And Structural Design,” Managerial Science, May 1996, Pp. 554–72. Reproduced From R.L. Daft And R.A. Noe, Organizational Behavior (Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt, 2001), P. 311.
    35. 35. The Issue of Complexity  Daft and Lengel suggested that there are three (3) zones of communication effectiveness: 1. Effective Zone – is the one in which the complexity of the problem or situation is matched appropriately with the richness of the medium. 2. Overload Zone – is one in which the medium provides more information than is necessary. 3. Oversimplification Zone – is one in which the medium does not provide the necessary information.  Research studies* have revealed that media usage is significantly different across organizational levels. Senior-level managers tend to spend much more time in face-to-face meetings than do lowermanagers. *Source: R. E. Rice and D. E. Shook, “Relationships of Job Categories and Organizational Levels to Use of Communication Channels, I ncluding Electronic Mail: A Meta-Analysis and Extension,” Journal of Management Studies, March 1990, pp. 195-229.
    36. 36. Barriers to Effective Communication A sender’s manipulation of information so that it will be seen more favorably by the receiver People selectively interpret what they see on the basis of their interests, background, experience, and attitudes A condition in which information inflow exceeds an individual’s processing capacity How a receiver feels at the time a message is received will influence how the message is interpreted
    37. 37. Barriers to Effective Communication (cont’d) Words have different meanings to different people Undue tension and anxiety about oral communication, written communication, or both A condition in which information inflow exceeds an individual’s processing capacity
    38. 38. Current Issues in Communication Women talk to:  Establish connection and intimacy  Criticize men for not listening  Speak of problems to promote closeness  Express regret and restore balance to a conversation Men talk to:  Emphasize status, power, and independence  Complain that women talk on and on  Offer solutions  To boast about their accomplishments
    39. 39. Politically Correct “PC” Communication  Communication is so concerned with being inoffensive that meaning and simplicity are lost or free expression is hampered.  Certain words do stereotype, intimidate, and insult  In a highly diverse workforce this is problematic: “Garbage” becomes “post-consumer waste materials” “Quotas” become “educational equity” “Women” become “people of gender” Such non-standard sanitizing of potentially offensive words can reduce the clarity of messages Source: The Far Side By Gary Larson © 1994 Far Works, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used With Permission.
    40. 40. Communication Across Cultures  With globalization, the analysis and understanding of communication across cultures become critical.  Adler notes: “Communicating effectively challenges managers world-wide even when the workforce is culturally homogenous, but when employees speak a variety of languages and come from an array of cultural backgrounds, effective communication becomes considerably difficult.”
    41. 41. Global Implications  Cross-cultural factors increase communication difficulties  Cultural Barriers: Semantics: some words aren’t translatable Word Connotations: some words imply multiple meanings beyond their definitions Tone Differences: the acceptable level of formality of language Perception Differences: language affects worldview  Cultural Context: The importance of social context to meaning Low-context cultures (like the U.S.) rely on words for meaning High-context cultures gain meaning from the whole situation
    42. 42. Communication Breakdown Across Cultures: 1. Perceptual Problems. This is simply portrayed as a person’s interpretation of reality and is said to be learned. People are taught to “see” things in a given way, and this will affect their interpretation of reality. 2. Stereotyping Problems. The tendency to perceive another person as belonging to a single class or category. This is a very simple, widely used way of constructing an assumed overall profile of other people. [See Table 1.4] 3. Ethnocentric Problems. Ethnocentrism refers to the sense of superiority that members of a particular culture have. When people interact with each other on an international basis, ethnocentrism can cause problems.
    43. 43. Communication Breakdown Across Cultures (cont’d) TABLE 1.4 Culture Stereotyped Image ___1. United States A. Demonstrative, talkative, emotional, romantic, bold, artistic ___2. English B. Mañana attitude, macho, music lovers, touchers ___3. French C. Inscrutable, intelligent, xenophobic, golfers, group-oriented, polite, soft-spoken ___4. Italians D. Conservative, reserved, polite, proper, formal ___5. Latin Americans E. Arrogant, loud, friendly, impatient, generous, hardworking, monolingual ___6. Asians F. Arrogant, rude, chauvinistic, romantics, gourmets, cultural, artistic
    44. 44. Communication Breakdown Across Cultures (cont’d) TABLE 1.4 Culture Stereotyped Image E 1. United States A. Demonstrative, talkative, emotional, romantic, bold, artistic D 2. English B. Mañana attitude, macho, music lovers, touchers F 3. French C. Inscrutable, intelligent, xenophobic, golfers, group-oriented, polite, soft-spoken A 4. Italians D. Conservative, reserved, polite, proper, formal B 5. Latin Americans E. Arrogant, loud, friendly, impatient, generous, hardworking, monolingual C 6. Asians F. Arrogant, rude, chauvinistic, romantics, gourmets, cultural, artistic
    45. 45. Improving Communication Effectiveness Across Cultures  Learn about the culture of that country before going there. Speaking their language correctly is not enough. Pronunciation and accent are very important.  Provide the trainee with educational background material on the country, including social structure, religion, values, language and history.  A more recent training approach called “Skill Streaming” also seems to hold promise for learning culture-specific communication.
    46. 46. Improving Communication Effectiveness Across Cultures To reduce your chance of making a faux pas in another culture, err on the side of caution by:  Assuming differences until similarity is proven  Emphasizing description rather than interpretation or evaluation  Practicing empathy in communication  Treating your interpretations as a working hypothesis
    47. 47. How to Become More Effective Communicator  Simplify your Message: Napoleon Bonaparte used to tell his secretaries, “Be clear, be clear, be clear.”  See the Person: Become audience-oriented; people believe in great communicators because great communicators believe in people.  Show the Truth: First, believe in what you say. Second, live what you say.  Seek a Response: Every time you speak to people, give them something to feel, something to remember, and something to do.
    48. 48. Summary  The less employees are uncertain, the greater their satisfaction; good communication reduces uncertainty!  Communication is improved by:  Choosing the correct channel  Being a good listener  Using feedback  Potential for misunderstanding in electronic communication is higher than for traditional modes  There are many barriers to international communication that must be overcome
    49. 49. “Educators take something simple and make it complicated. Communicators take something complicated and make it simple.” -John C. Maxwell
    50. 50. Thank You! Ü
    51. 51. Additional slides for further reading…
    52. 52. Barnard’s Contribution 7 Specific Communication Factors: 1. The channels of communication should be definitely known. 2. There should be a definite formal channel of communication to every member of the organization. 3. The line of communication should be as direct and short as possible. 4. The complete formal line of communication should normally be used. 5. The persons serving as communication centers should be competent. 6. The line of communication should not be interrupted while the organization is functioning. 7. Every communication should be authenticated. LO-I
    53. 53. Interpersonal Communication  Interpersonal communication represents the middle ground between communication media and technology and non-verbal communication.  For the study of OB, interpersonal communication is the most relevant.  In interpersonal communication, the major emphasis is on transferring communication from one person to another.  Communication is looked on as a basic method of effecting behavioral change and it incorporates the psychological process (perception, learning, and motivation) on the one hand and language on the other.  However, it must be noted that the explosion of advanced technology is also having an impact on this human interaction process.  Thus, listening sensitivity and non-verbal communications are closely associated to interpersonal communication.
    54. 54. Importance of How to Talk with Others  The Director. This person has a short attention span, processes information quickly, and interested only in the bottom line. So it is best to present a bulleted list of conclusions and forget all of the background information.  The Free Spirit. This manager is creative, big-picture type of person who likes to consider alternative approaches to doing things, but is not very good on follow-through. In communicating, it is best to be patient, and to be prepared for changes in direction.  The Humanist. This manager likes everyone to be happy and is very concerned with the feelings of others. Any suggestions that are given to him or her will be passed around the entire department for full consensus before any action is taken.  The Historian. This manager likes to know the whole picture and thrives on details. This individual wants to be given a thorough analysis and background information, especially if it is presented in linear fashion.
    55. 55. The Importance of Giving Feedback  Table 1.2 summarizes some characteristics of effective and ineffective feedback for employee performance. The following list explains these characteristics in more detail: 1. Intention. Effective feedback is directed toward improving job performance and making the employee a more valuable asset. It is not a personal attack and should not compromise the individual’s feeling of self worth or image. 2. Specificity. Effective feedback is designed to provide recipients with specific information so that they know what must be done to correct the situation. 3. Description. Effective feedback can also be characterized as descriptive rather than evaluative. It tells the employee what he or she has done in objective terms, rather than presenting a value judgment.
    56. 56. The Importance of Giving Feedback (cont’d) 4. Usefulness. Effective feedback is information that an employee can use to improve performance. The guideline is that, if it is not something the employee can correct, it is not worth mentioning. 5. Timeliness. As a rule, the more immediate the feedback the better. This way, the employee has better chance of knowing what the supervisor is talking about and can take corrective action. 6. Readiness. In order for feedback to be effective, employees must be ready to receive it. When feedback is forced on employees, it is much less effective. 7. Clarity. Effective feedback must be clearly understood by the recipient. A good way of checking this is by asking the recipient to restate the major points of the discussion. 8. Validity. In order for feedback to be effective, it must be reliable and valid. It can lead to inappropriate corrective action and compounds the problem if the information is incorrect.
    57. 57. The Importance of Giving Feedback (cont’d) Table 1.2 Luthans and Martinko’s Characteristics of Feedback for Effective and Ineffective Interpersonal Communication in Human Resource Management Effective Feedback Ineffective Feedback 1. Intended to help the employee 1. Intended to belittle the employee 2. Specific 2. General 3. Descriptive 3. Evaluative 4. Useful 4. Inappropriate 5. Timely 5. Untimely 6. Considers employee readiness for feedback 6. Makes the employee defensive 7. Clear 7. Not understandable 8. Valid 8. Inaccurate
    58. 58. Communication Media & Technology  Choosing a Medium for Communication Based on the report of the Wall Street Journal: Telephone 51 E-mail 36 Voice mail 22 Postal mail 19 Interoffice mail 19 Fax 14 Post-it Notes 12 Telephone message slips 9 Pager messages 8 Cell phone 4 Overnight couriers or messengers 4 Express mail 3 Source: D. Clark, “Managing The Mountain,” Wall Street Journal, June 21, 1999, P. R 4.
    59. 59. References Books: Robbins, S. (2005). Organizational behavior (10th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., Publishing as Prentice Hall. Luthans, F., Holmes, G. (2005). Organizational behavior (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Maxwell, J. (1999). The 21 indispensable qualities of a leader. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc. Electronic Source: Shuttle, K. J. Communication [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from p&q=robbins_ob14_ppt_11&oq=robbins_ob14_ppt_11&gs_l=serp.3..0.252076.2520 76.0.252862.
    60. 60. For MM202: Organizational Behavior Prepared by: Miamarie Gerona-Estrada Saturday, 2013 August 31