A Study On The Use of Body Language Among Executives in an Orginazition in a Workplace

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a sample Thesis amended by UiTM to an accomplishment of Bachelor Degree in Applied Language Studies (Hons) English for Professional Communication regarding a study on the use of body language among executives in a workplace year 2010.

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A Study On The Use of Body Language Among Executives in an Orginazition in a Workplace

  1. 1.   UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA A STUDY ON THE USE OF BODY LANGUAGE AMONG EXECUTIVES WITHIN ORGANIZATION IN A WORKPLACE Submitted in Fulfilment of the Academic Project Requirement, Bachelor of Applied Language Studies (English for Professional Communication) MOHD ZULFADLI BIN MOHD ROSLI May 2010
  2. 2. Academy of Language Studies, UiTM Academic Project EPC 615 Declaration of Authorship I, Mohd Zulfadli Bin Mohd Rosli SID No, 2006128483 Declare that this academic project and the work presented in it are my own, and they are the result of my original research. A Study on the Use of Body Language among Executives within Organization in a Workplace I confirmed that: 1. Where I have consulted the published work of others, this is always clearly attributed; 2. Where I have quoted form the work of others, the source is always given. With the exception of such quotations, this academic project is entirely my own work; 3. I have acknowledged all main sources for help; Signed: Date:
  3. 3.   UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MARA A STUDY OF THE USE OF BODY LANGUAGE AMONG EXECUTIVES WITHIN ORGANIZATION IN A WORKPLACE Submitted in Fulfilment of the Academic Project Requirement, Bachelor of Applied Language Studies (English for Professional Communication) MOHD ZULFADLI BIN MOHD ROSLI 2006128483 May 2010 i   
  4. 4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ‫ﺒﺴﻢ اﷲ اﻠﺮﺤﻤﻦ اﻠﺮﺤﻴﻢ‬ First and foremost, the researcher would like to thankful to Allah S.W.T for making all good things possible, giving a good health condition, which consents and enables to accomplish this study successfully. Besides that, the strengths and efforts that were put in, to ensure this Research Methodology as required by the Faculty of Academic Language Studies syllabus finished. The first appreciation goes to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Saidatul Akmar Binti Zainal Abidin, on her capacity in being and advisor for this Research Methodology. She had given a lot of guidance and advices for the researcher in order to accomplish this study. The researcher would like to thank to parents and friends for being supportive and encouraged the researcher to finish up this study. Other than that, their willingness to sacrifice their time and assistance whenever their involvements and suggestions especially when the researcher face difficulties to accomplish the task. Last but not least, and appreciation also goes to all the librarians at Tun Abdul Razak Libraries (PTAR) in UiTM, for the helping and giving full commitment in order to find books that related to this study. The researcher also wants to thank you to readers and to future researchers that would like to obtain this study on the use of body language as their references and sources. Thank you so much.   ii   
  5. 5. TABLE OF CONTENTS TITLE PAGE.............................................................................................................................i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS........................................................................................................ii TABLE OF CONTENTS......................................................................................................iii-iv ABSTRACT..............................................................................................................................v CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the Study....................................................................................................1 1.2 Problem Statement............................................................................................................5 1.3 Objectives of the Study...................................................................................................5-6 1.4 Research Questions...........................................................................................................6 1.5 Significance of the Study....................................................................................................7 1.6 Limitations of the Study...................................................................................................7-8 1.7 Definition of Terms..........................................................................................................8-9 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 The History of Body Language...................................................................................11-13 2.2 What is appropriate body language?..........................................................................13-14 2.3 Organizational Communication...................................................................................14-15 2.4 Common Body Postures.............................................................................................15-16 2.5 Unspoken Messages can be Critical to Workplace Communication...........................16-18 CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY 3.1 Introduction......................................................................................................................19 3.2 Research Method............................................................................................................19 3.3 Samples...........................................................................................................................20 3.4 Research Instrument........................................................................................................20 3.4.1 Questionnaire...........................................................................................................20-21 3.5 Data Analysis...................................................................................................................21   iii   
  6. 6. CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS 4.1 Introduction......................................................................................................................22 4.2 Discussion of Finding.......................................................................................................22 4.2.1 Demographic Data Analysis.....................................................................................22-23 4.2.2 Non-verbal Communication.....................................................................................23-26 4.2.3 Importance of Body Language in Communication...................................................26-28 4.3 Discussion on Research Questions.................................................................................29 4.3.1 Communication break down when little or no attention is paid................................29-30 4.3.2 Body language signals affect communication..........................................................31-32 4.3.3 Executives in an organization apply body language when they communicate........32-33 4.3.4 The major reasons for executives to use body language........................................33-35 4.3.5 Executives understand the significant of body language.........................................35-36 CHAPTER FIVE: RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION 5.1 Introduction......................................................................................................................37 5.2 Recommendations......................................................................................................37-38 5.3 Conclusion..................................................................................................................38-39 REFERENCES.................................................................................................................40-41 APPENDIX.............................................................................................................................42 Appendix A: Questionnaire...............................................................................................43-48   iv   
  7. 7. ABSTRACT This research is entitled A Study of the Use of Body Language among Executives within the Organization in a Workplace. This research paper focuses on the use of body language occurs in executives such as senior executives and junior executives within organization in a workplace. Yet, people tend to ignore and did not really concerned about it. The objective of this research is to find out if communication can break down when little or no attention is paid to a person’s body gestures in the workplace. As we concern, there is very little study about the use of body language in a workplace. Therefore, this particular study is to allow executives, and managers to think the important of the use of body language in communication.   v   
  8. 8. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION According to Gordon Marshall (1998), non-verbal communication can be defined as forms of communication that do not rely on the spoken or written word. For instance, gestures and hand signals can frequently give messages to another person without a word being said. Mark Knapp and Judith Hall (1997, p. 5) non-verbal communication is defined as follows: “non- verbal communication refers to communication affected by means other than words.” It shows that all cultures in the world whether in written or ethnicity expressed the importance of non-verbal communication to understand human beings. Over thousands of years, Chinese culture has developed a set of rules about how to judge the personality of a person by observing the size, shape, and relative positions of the nose, eyes, eyebrows, cheeks, chin, and forehead. Non-verbal communication involves two distinct areas of epistemology which are hypothetical and scientific in characteristics. According to Francois (1984), body language has been largely overlooked by theoreticians of meaning, language, and communication. Francois also quoted that “it may descriptions of final state that enable us to begin with well-formed utterances, with syntax, and then go on to examine their semantics, whatever those utterances may want to say and, ultimately, of the pragmatics, of the reasons for saying, of what we are doing when we speak. And although it is true that linguistics has followed this sequence in its development, it is just as true that linguistics has followed this sequence in its development, it is just as true that the child follows the opposite sequence.” In other words, it is a result of a 1   
  9. 9. normal procedure in the history of accepting the structural to the amount that the final is essentially grounded in more or less ancient level of emotional communication. Therefore, preverbal communication refers to bodily communication, mimicry, and behaviour. Generally, 80 percent of research of communication has put non-verbal communication whereas it could be around 50 to 65 percent. According to Mehrabian (1972) in his book entitled ‘Silent Messages’ stated 7 percent of communication comes from spoken words, 38 percent from the tone of voice, and another 55 percent came from body language. Thus, body language is claimed as an important element in communication. However, Mehrabian was only focusing on cases of expressing feelings or attitudes, such as when a person says “I do not have a problem with you!” tend to focus on the tone, and body language of the person rather than the actual words said. It is an example of a common misconception that these percentages apply on communication. The history of research of non-verbal communication is applied to the history of conceptual of answer in conversation. According to Lucas (2007), the previous researches for instance, body language have produced many types of non-verbal communication. Body language itself has a number of body language styles that can be found in our daily communication. 1.1 Background of the study According to Gordon Marshall (1998) body language is a term used in psychology referring to gestures, facial expressions, and bodily postures adopted by people in social interaction. Body language forms part of the category of paralanguage, which describes all forms of human communication that are non-verbal language. These include the parts of movements that many people are not aware. For instance, body language also incorporates the use of facial expressions. Our oral or written language 2   
  10. 10. expresses our ideas, thoughts, and emotions, meanwhile our bodies are said to express a series of unspoken or unconsciously articulated messages such as posture. Furthermore, the alternative term ‘kinesics’ is sometimes used in psychology, to refer both to the body movements which convey information in the absence of speech, and the study of such movements. Gestures can be divided into three categories which are ironics, deictics and beat gestures. According to (Yule (2006, p. 173) ironics gestures mean gestures that seem to be a reflection of the meaning of what is said. Basically, these types of gestures are related to speakers’ utterances. For instance, when we are looking for a box, we tend to trace a square in the air while we are saying it. Yule also mentions about deictic gestures which mean pointing to someone or object. People tend to point to the object that he/she wants from someone else while he/she speaks. For instance, “bring that ball” and the person is pointing his/her finger to the ball. Then, beat gestures are commonly used in conjunction in speech and keep time with the rhythm to emphasize certain words or phrases dramatically. In non-verbal communication, body language signals tend to have a goal other than communication. The goal is the effectiveness of the message conveyed by the speaker to the hearer. People observe limit they place on non-verbal cues. Then, signallers clarify their signals to indicate the biological origin of their action, compared to the utterances that the speaker is speaking. Several examples of body language signals in communication have been completed by the researchers in previous years. According to Mary Nicole Hicks (2007) the fundamental of body language signal occurs when a person crosses his or her arms across the chest. The intended meaning of this context is that the person is putting up an unconscious barrier between their feeling and others or the person is cold because the room’s air conditioner is cold that can lead to not a good ambience for the person to focus on the conversation. Mary also stated one example when a person focuses on consistent eye contact to speaker’s eyes, it can be defined as that the person is 3   
  11. 11. thinking positively to speaker’s speech. It can be interpreted that the person is trusting to the speaker, throughout the eye contact. This study focuses on executives within an organization in the workplace. Generally, there are two types of executives in an organization which are Senior Executives and Junior Executives. According to businessdictionary.com executives can be defined as a person has a good level of education and commands respect from other company employees appointed and given the responsibility to manage the affairs of the organization and the authority to make decisions within specified boundaries. Usually, executives have a thorough knowledge of workings of their company an excellent record of achievements in the company and with other companies, either in supply or buy a product. Communication skills are very interrelated to the executives in order to interact with top level management or lower level management; or among colleagues. Senior executives tend to have authority for a decision-making, managing and operating tasks of business in detailed. Some people say, to be a senior executive, someone has to gain a long-term working experience in a certain area or department for about five years or he/she must be a Master holder in any equivalent course. Meanwhile, junior executives tend to receive and run tasks given by senior executives. Usually, they are Degree holders from any equivalent course. Mostly, the executives are the precious staff in business workplace, because they seem to have good communication skills in order to interact with people. Executives may aspire to hold positions in top management in the future where communication skills are essential and this also includes body language. Therefore, this study is an attempt to instill awareness for them on how to deal with body language in daily interactions. 4   
  12. 12. 1.2 Problem statement Body language is one of significant elements in communication skills. Yet, people are not fully aware and realize the importance using the correct body language in daily communication at the workplace. Generally, according to Tricia Ellis-Christensen (2003) executives among middle level management in a workplace tend to misinterpret and it is difficult to recognize the body language signals because of the lack of observation and not aware. In addition, there is minimal research being conducted that focuses on this study. Therefore, this research focuses on the importance of body language in delivering an effective communication. Body language signals can be a perimeter in indicating the effectiveness of communication. 1.3 Objectives of the study Based on the problem statement above, the objectives of this study is to seek the use of body language among executives within organization. The objectives of this study are: 1. To identify the effectiveness of using body language signals for executives within the organization. 2. The different types of body language signals in communication at the workplace. 3. If communication can break down when little or no attention is paid to a person’s body gestures in the workplace. 5   
  13. 13. 1.4 Research questions The history of body language signals in the introduction and background to the study above, and the researcher relates the information to some specific questions to clarify the information as below: a) Can communication break down when little or no attention is paid to a person’s body language in a workplace? b) How can body language signals affect communication? c) Do executives in an organization apply body language when they communicate? d) What are the major reasons for executives to use body language in their daily interaction? e) How much do executives understand on the significance of body language signals in interaction at the workplace? The research questions will be answered clearly, based on the research carried out. 6   
  14. 14. 1.5 Significance of the study This study is helped executives within organization in a workplace in understanding of the use of body language in interaction. This study will also to help and increase the executives understanding and increasing their knowledge about body language signals in communication. This is because many executives are facing difficulty to interpret and understand body language. In order to improve the executives’ understanding toward the use of body language, this research will provide examples and ways on the use of appropriate body language. Moreover, this research will also help others to understand the concept and the use of body language that always occur in daily communication. It is because, the use of body language is very important in the communication process. Then, if someone misinterprets the gestures, or postures, and body language signals, he/she might be misunderstanding the concept. 1.6 Limitations and the scope of the study In this particular sub topic, there are many limitations and scope of the study of the body language in the workplace. Since the research, only focuses on executives within corporate organization in the workplace, there are many limitations such as it is difficult to get full examples about body language occurring in the workplace because it is only little research completed about this topic. In addition, it is also difficult to get articles from newspaper or journals about body language itself because people are not really concerned and emphasis the topic strictly. As a result, this study will not only obtain certain information but will gather more information because people will need to find more information regarding the use of body language. 7   
  15. 15. Furthermore, the scope of this study is focusing on the executives either senior executives or junior executives within corporate organization. In depth, the researcher is going to narrow down the scope to only a corporate sector instead of government sector. 1.7 Definition of Terms The following are the definitions of terms and concepts used in this project: 1. Non-verbal communication: The process of communication without using voice and utterances. 2. Body language: A term of communication using body movements, gestures, or postures. 3. Syntax: A study of the principles and rules for constructing sentences in language. 4. Semantics: A study of meaning of language. 5. Pragmatics: A study of invisible meaning in utterances and written. 6. Facial expressions: Process of using facial movement such as mouth, eyebrow, nose, cheek and forehead to interpret non-verbal communication. 7. Postures: The position of the body parts that interrelated to body language signals. 8. Paralanguage: The set of non-phonemic properties of speech, such as speaking tempo, pitch, and tone of voice. 8   
  16. 16. 9. Mimicry: The act of mimicking. 10. Linguistics: The study of the nature, structure, and variation of language including phonetics, morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, and pragmatics. 11. Hand Signals: Hands as a tool for communication to interpret meaning in conversation for example wavy hands. 12. Kinesics: The study on non-linguistics movement such as gestures, and facial expression as a systematic mode of communication. 13. Ironics: Characterized by or constituting irony. 14. Deictics: Logic directly using by arguments. 15. Beat gestures: Small baton like movements that do not change in form with the content of the accompanying speech 16. Psychoanalysis: Body of ideas which is devoted to the study of human psychological functioning and behaviour. 17. Gestures: A forms of non-verbal communication that using body’s parts in order to express message. 18. Physiognomists: People who are mastered in the evaluation of person’s characteristic or personality from appearance, especially the face. 19. Palaeoarchaeologists: People who are professionally in the artefacts of human being. 20. Ethnologists: People who are professionally in the ethnic study. 21. Zoologists: People mastered in the animal behaviour and attitude. 9   
  17. 17. CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW Most of the time body language is used to determine the message that the speaker is trying to say to the hearer because body language has credibility to enhance the understanding of the message through conversation. There are many kinds of body language such as gestures, eye contacts, and movement. Specific gestures such as the manual rhetoric of Roman speakers have been objects of study since Classical times. In Classical Rome, strictly moderated and limited gestures were regarded as a signal of self-controlled character in that particular time. In Renaissance Europe, writings on body language were common and well known whereas in seventeenth-century, physiognomists like Giovanni della Porta and Charles Lebrun codified the facial expressions of emotion and character, the two investigations that lead by Giovanni Bonifacio and John Bulwer on gestures. Gestures are an expected language that people all over the world could be understood in fundamentally. Charles Darwin (1881) completed research about animal and human ‘emotions’ in the nineteenth century, tended to support the view that physical expression might be in nature inherited conditions under which people live and the bodily deportment and habitual actions perform, whereas they have consequences for their bodies that discovered by palaeoarchaeologists which is used as the evidence of excavated skeletons to offer generalizations about the body habits of the past years. Desmond Morris (1969) studied as certain modern ethnologists and zoologists stress the similarities between the bodily movements used by humans and those observed in animals to express hostility, fear, dominance, or territorially. In addition, there is minimal research being conducted that focuses on this study. 10   
  18. 18. 2.1 The history of body language Kathlen Bowers (2007) has studied about the different bodily gestures in interaction. There are as follows: 2.1.1 Shaking hands The origin of shaking hands begun in ancient Greece and the Middle East, where people have long shook hands as a way of making a pledge. This symbolic expression of pledging is thought to be the reason during a wedding ceremony and to the bride and groom is asked to join hands as they recite their vows to one another. However, not all handshaking are so gentle. In Russia, the tradition of handshaking is more a form of male competition than intimate union. In addition, the handshake is taken to a painful or competitive extreme like arm wrestling. Although in the United States, a firm handshake is often considered a sign of confidence and power. 2.1.2 Raising an eyebrow Eyebrow-raising is a gesture in biology rather than social custom. For some animals like dogs raise their ears and horses flare their nostrils when they are alert of something. Human beings depend on sight more than sound or smell. Usually, people tend to raise eyebrows when they are surprised or suddenly called to attention. Some scientists theorize that these responses are designed to help people to get a better view of whatever has so suddenly caught their interest. 11   
  19. 19. Sometimes, eyebrow-raising can be an intentional gesture because it communicates both vulnerability and interest. 2.1.3 Kissing Some scientists theorize that the gesture has its origins in mothers feeding their babies by chewing up food and then transferring it, kiss-like, to their babies' mouths. In ancient Hebrew, the word for breath also means soul. There are indications that as early as 2000 BC, some cultures believed that bringing the mouths (or breath) together signified the joining of the two souls. Ancient Egyptians seem to have a kiss activity, if their art is any indication. Some researchers believe that they thought of kissing as the giving of breath or giving life. The Romans are credited with turning the kiss into a sophisticated form of communication. The Romans kissed each other hello on the mouth or on the eyes, kissed robes, and kissed rings and statues of gods to indicate submission and respect. One Roman emperor sent a message about what he thought of other people by his choice of body part that he allowed them to kiss. Important nobles were allowed to kiss his lips; less important ones kissed his hands and the least, kissed his feet. The Romans had several different words for kisses: an osculum was a friendship kiss; a basium was a passionate kiss; and a savium was a deep kiss. 12   
  20. 20. 2.1.4 Winking A common non-verbal gesture in Europe and the United States, winking is an indication of a private understanding. According to Desmond Morris (1985) in book entitled Bodywatching stated that wink is directional eye closure which an eye quickly closed and then opened eye is communicating a "secret aimed only at the person being looked at. The other eye is being kept open for the rest of the world, who are being excluded from the private exchange." 2.2 What is appropriate body language? A study about the appropriate body language in the workplace by Tricia EllisChristensen (2003) showed that in the workplace, body language could change how people are perceived at work. For instance, even though smiling is considered a form of welcome in many cultures, it may also identify as a form of embarrassment in certain Asian cultures. If someone works with people of different nationalities of understanding, the cultural body language is precious. In United States of America (USA), workers; some kind of suitable workplace of body language in order to perceive people as honest, open minded, flexible, and make a good relationship with each other. In addition, sitting in a straight but relaxed position in a chair during an office meeting for instance, could be interpreted that the person is released and attentive. There are statements claimed by Tricia in body language research at the workplace. The specification in this particular research is about personal space in order to express good workplace body language. As we can see, personal space tends to 13   
  21. 21. vary in individuals and in races. The research stated in the USA whereas people should grant to co-workers about one to two feet (30.48 cm-60.96 cm) of personal space. In the context, no part of the body should be undertaking into this situation. However, it does examine a person’s reactions. If a person stay back whiles the person observing the two-foot rule, he or she needs a bigger space in communication. The situation is considered as reluctant activity of body language. On other hand, if the person stands or sits comfortably, usually, people might probably have a personal space ration right for the individual. Thus, the researcher is considering distance between the speaker and the hearer throughout body language. Moreover, the research is suitable in covering US citizens only, however cannot be cover up for the all cultures and races all over the world. Therefore, the research must be more specific by looking at which level of management within organization in workplace can put into studies. 2.3 Organizational communication “Organizational Communication is an excellent research tool for scholars and practitioners alike. Extensive literature related to organizational communication well presented and clearly classified. These annual volumes provide a ready source for individuals concerned with to locate and evaluate relevant information quickly and accurately.” The Southern Speech Communication Journal (1988, vol. 7) The book is about organizational communication in American workplace. The book is considered as a device for workers to learn and to pursue. In addition, the book remains to the reader how to communicate effectively within organization in a 14   
  22. 22. workplace. This book is related to this study because body language a part of communication skills. Furthermore, organization in a workplace also interconnected to complete this study is regarding body language among executives within organization in a workplace. 2.4 Common body postures There are examples of body language postures that commonly used in communication. Provided by Mary Nicole Hicks (2007) examples are as follows: 2.4.1 Arms crossed: A person is defensive cautious towards something that he/she does not really interest in conversation. 2.4.2 Resting chin on palm: A person feels critical cynical and negative towards other. 2.4.3 Pitching bridge of the nose: Communicates great thought and concern. 2.4.4 Nose-rubbing or nose-touching: A sign of doubt, it often reveals a negative reaction. 2.4.5 Direct eye contact: A person feels interested in the situation, likes you. 2.4.6 Fidgeting with hands or objects (i.e., pen): Bored or has something to say. 2.4.7 Inhaling loudly and shortly: A person wants to interrupt a speaking person. 2.4.8 Twisting the feet continuously: A person is nervous or concerned, but can also mean that a person is stressed or angry and that he does not want to show that to everybody. 15   
  23. 23. As we can see, body language has interpreted in conversation. Body movements and postures are the major objects for a person, especially for the speaker in order to understand the hearer’s meaning effectively. 2.5 Unspoken Messages can be critical to workplace communication According to Heather Rothbauer (2009) communication is the key to success in the workplace. Communication occurs with vendors and customers. Employees should remember that spoken language is not the only way of utterance in communication. Instead, non-spoken signals are also important in the workplace. 2.5.1 Eye-contact promotes understanding and honesty Employees need to give fellow workers the respect that they deserve. By looking someone straight into the eye, the speaker feels that the message that he/she is being carried through to the receiver. Eye-contact promotes understanding and honesty. Sometimes, if the speaker does not look the receiver in the eye, a feeling of insecurity or dishonesty will take place. 2.5.2 A good posture increases the interested in conversation Slouching in the chair signifies a person whom may not carry the message being sent. A sloppy posture says that the receiver may not be paying attention or may be purposely trying to distract the speaker. When someone is leaning back in the chair 16   
  24. 24. or rocking back shows boredom and a distinct lack of interest in the message. In contrast, when someone is sitting up straight or leaning in slightly tells the speaker that the hearer is interested in the conversation. 2.5.3 Office appearance as a signal of communication Believe it or not, the situation of an office signals communication to co-workers. Generally, if a desk is messy and strewn with paperwork, a person glance at the office may believe the occupant has a cluttered mind and is harried when it comes to work. In addition, it is important to remember the only things needed on the desktop table such as a stapler, tape dispenser and pencil cup. Other things such as correction fluid or liquid paper, sticky notes, and extra notepads can be kept into a table drawer. Clean desks indicate an effective communication for an organized and neat individual. 2.5.4 Respecting the time is a non-verbal communication Non-verbal communication normally perceived from gestures, and body language as understood by common people. However, non-verbal communication may also be interpreted in a form of attitude. Respecting the time of other workers is also a nonverbal form of communication. For instance, if someone wants to attend a meeting, he/she must be punctual and on time as to increase others perception about the person’s respective. 17   
  25. 25. The research is valuable for employees particularly for executives to increase their ability in order to perform a better understanding about nonverbal communication. Moreover, there are also samples of how to deal with people using a correct body language signals. 18   
  26. 26. CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY 3.1 Introduction This chapter is focused on several methods or techniques that will be used in collecting data for this research study. Data collection is very important because, this research will support and verify the research questions. The data collection will be performed in selected timeframes with selected target groups. 3.2 Research Method In this research, the method can be defined as a technique of collecting data. This method will be designed and selected based on research questions provided. Then, this selected method will be used to collect all the information needed regarding the use of body language signals among executives in a workplace. The data collection will also be used in finding if communication skill can break down when little or no attention is paid to a person’s body gestures in the workplace. The data collection will focuses on executives in several corporate organizations in workplace such as Monash University Administrative Department, and Sime Darby Global Service Centre. 19   
  27. 27. 3.3 Sample The data collection for this particular research is focused on executives in two different corporate firms which are Monash University Administrative Department and Sime Darby Global Service Centre. It is because in body language it can be determined in various types of people. With this, these two firms indicate the variety types of executives all over the world. Moreover, the executives in these two firms are dealing and communicating with people in various levels and countries. There are many the use of body language occurs in these firms. For data gathering, 30 respondents will be chosen, from any department either Senior or Junior Executives. 3.4 Research Instrument A questionnaire is a method for collecting data in this research instrument. A set of questionnaire will be designed according to research questions. The questionnaire will be used in order to collect data regarding the reasons and impacts of using body language expressions in interaction. Besides that, this particular questionnaire will be used to investigate problems which arise in the use of body language signals in interaction. 3.4.1 Questionnaire Basically, the questionnaire will be used to determine the executives’ experiences in using body language signals in interaction. This questionnaire will also be used to identify the executives’ understanding on the use of body language signals. Therefore, this questionnaire will consist of two parts which are Part A, Part B, and Part C. The first part of this questionnaire is about the background of respondent. The 20   
  28. 28. second part consists of evaluating the executives’ understanding about body language expressions. Meanwhile, the third part will investigate problems and impacts of body language expressions. 3.5 Data Analysis The data collected from this questionnaire will be used to answer all the research questions. All data will be analysed according to each research question. Then, all data collected will be organized and managed accordingly to the research questions. After that, data will be evaluated to get the real findings regarding the research questions. The data must be analysed into percentage and graphic in order to get a clear picture about the figures.   21   
  29. 29. CHAPTER FOUR ANALYSIS OF FINDINGS 4.1 Introduction Data collection is very important to support the objectives of this research. It is because, in this research, a set of questionnaire had been distributed to 30 respondents which are executives’ level in the Monash University Department and Sime Darby Global Service Centre. This questionnaire evaluated the executives’ understanding, purpose and implication of using body language at the workplace. This questionnaire consists of three parts, which are Part A, Part B, and Part C. In this sequence, Part A investigated the demographic of the respondents. Meanwhile, Part B is about understanding non-verbal communication and Part C focuses on the importance of body language in communication. The response and data from this questionnaire had been evaluated and calculated based on the research questions in this research. 4.2 Discussion of Finding 4.2.1 (Part A) Demographic Data Analysis There are four indicators of demographic of respondents In Part A which is included in the questionnaire. Firstly, position of executives which are Senior Executive and Junior Executive. The questionnaire shows the highest of respondents is Junior Executive; 63.3%, meanwhile 36.7% belonged to Senior Executive. Secondly, the gender category of male showed the highest percentage; 53.3% compared to female; 22   
  30. 30. 46.7%. Thirdly, the data of the age categories of the respondents have been analyzed. The age category of 21-25 years showed the highest percentage; 40%. Followed by the age of 26-30 years is 33.3%. Next, 13.3% is in the category of 31-35 years. 36-40 years and 41-45 years are the lowest percentage which 6.7%. Lastly, the data of department category showed the highest percentage is Administrative/Operational department with 50%, followed by Finance department; 37.7%. Transportation department; 6.7% and Marketing and Customer Service department, stand for 3.3%. this demographic data analysis is important due to we can see different executives’ background in an organization. 4.2.2 (Part B) Non-Verbal Communication Non-verbal communication influences your working life Position (Percentage %) Rate 50%-79% 26.67% 3.33% 3.33% 3.33% 36.66% 40% 23.33% 0% 0% 63.33% 66.67% Senior 30%49% 0%-29% Total 80%-100% 26.66% 3.33% 3.33% 100% Executive Junior Executive Total Table 4.2.2.1 Data analysis of non-verbal influences in working life 23   
  31. 31. Position Body language signals affect communication (Percentage %) Rate 80%-100% 50%-79% 30%49% 0%-29% Total Senior 16.67% 16.67% 3.33% 0% 36.67% 20% 36.67% 6.67% 0% 63.34% 36.67% 54.34% 10% 0% 100% Executive Junior Executive Total Table 4.2.2.2 Data analyses of body language signals affect communication Misinterpreted a speech because of body gesture Percentage (%) Always 13.33% Often 60.00% Seldom 13.33% Never 13.33% Total 99.99% Table 4.2.2.3 Data analysis of misinterpreted a speech because of body gesture 24   
  32. 32. Cross arms during conversation Always Often Seldom Never Total Percentage (%) 23.33% 60.00% 16.67% 0.00% 100.00% Table 4.2.2.4 Data analysis on cross arms during conversation Rest chin on palm Always Often Seldom Never Total Percentage (%) 16.67% 26.67% 36.67% 20.00% 100.01% Table 4.2.2.5 Data analysis on rest chin on palm Practice direct eye contact Always Often Seldom Never Total Percentage (%) 36.67% 50.00% 13.33% 0.00% 100.00% Table 4.2.2.6 Data analysis of practice direct eye contact 25   
  33. 33. Fidget hands or a pen Always Often Seldom Never Total Percentage (%) 16.67% 40.00% 16.67% 26.67% 100.01% Table 4.2.2.7 Data analysis on fidget hands or a pen 4.2.3 (PART C) Importance of Body Language in Communication Body language is important Level of agreement Strongly disagree Disagree Slightly disagree Slightly agree Agree Strongly agree Total Percentage 0% 3.33% 3.33% 10.00% 36.67% 46.67% 100% Table 4.2.3.1 Data analysis of the importance of body language 26   
  34. 34. Communication break down Level of agreement Strongly disagree Disagree Slightly disagree Slightly agree Agree Strongly agree Total Percentage 0% 0.00% 0.00% 23.33% 36.67% 40.00% 100% Table 4.2.3.2 Data analysis on communication break down Communication barrier exists Level of agreement Strongly disagree Disagree Slightly disagree Slightly agree Agree Strongly agree Total Percentage 0% 3.33% 13.33% 13.33% 46.67% 23.33% 100% Table 4.2.3.3 Data analysis on communication barrier exists 27   
  35. 35. Body language signals are essential Level of agreement Percentage Strongly disagree 10% Disagree 3.33% Slightly disagree 6.67% Slightly agree 30.00% Agree 36.67% Strongly agree 13.33% 100% Total Table 4.2.3.4 Data analyses on body language signals are essential Executives use body language signals effectively Level of agreement Strongly disagree Disagree Slightly disagree Slightly agree Agree Strongly agree Total Percentage 0% 10.00% 16.67% 33.33% 33.33% 6.67% 100% Table 4.2.3.5 Data analysis on Executives use body language signals effectively 28   
  36. 36. 4.3 Discussion on Research Questions 4.3.1 Research question 1: Communication break down when little or no attention is paid to a person’s body language in a workplace. The first research question will investigate whether communication can break down when little or no attention is paid to a person’s body language in a workplace. Most of the time body language is used to determine the message that the speaker is trying to say to the hearer because body language has credibility to enhance the understanding of the message throughout conversation. According to Heather Rothbauer (2009) unspoken messages can be critical to workplace communication. Heather said that using correct eye-contact promotes understanding and honesty. By looking someone straight into the eye, the speaker feels that the message that he/she carried through to the receiver. If they do in different way, communication will break down. Tricia Ellis-Christensen (2003) claimed that body language is precious thing in culture and it may results a negative impact to a person when he/she does not paid attention regarding someone’s speaking that may put the communication into break down. To support this argument, there is an evident regarding this issue as shown in the Chart below: 29   
  37. 37. Figure 4.3.1.1 Communication break down when little or no attention is paid to a person’s body gestures The figure 4.3.1.1 shows that 46.67% agreed to this statement. 23.33% respondents strongly agreed to communication will break down when little or no attention is paid to a person’s body gestures. According to (George Yule, 2006, p. 173) there are three different gestures which are ironics, diectics, and beat gestures. Basically, these types of gestures are related to speaker’s utterances in order to convey message. Thus, if someone does not pay attention to other message, he/she might breaks down the message because of the pertinent of body gestures. 30   
  38. 38. 4.3.2 Research question 2: Body language signals affect communication The second research question is investigating body language signals affect communication. Body language signals in interaction such as facial expression, tone of voice, gestures, postures, eye movement, hand movement, and the way of someone stands. Lack of using correct body language signals will affect the effectiveness of communication. It is because body language is interconnected to communication. This argument can be approved by Mehrabian (1972) body language was the large percent in his study, approximately 55 percent. He claimed that 38 percent from the tone of voice, and only 7 percent of communication comes from spoken words. To support this answer, sufficient evidence regarding this research question 2 as Pie Chart below: Figure 4.3.1.2 Body language signals are essential to executives so that work becomes more effectively 31   
  39. 39. Through this questionnaire in Appendix A; among 30 respondents, 37 percent are agreed that body language signals are essential to executives so that work becomes more effectively. In this context, executives are definitely tended to believe on the essential of using correct body language signals in order to produce work effectively. They can fulfil this statement by learning how to use correct body language signals because executives are the vital staff in the organization which carrying tasks given by the top management and they often deal with various types of people which they have to interact with. 4.3.3 Research question 3: Executives in an organization apply body language when they communicate Figure 4.3.1.3 Executives use body language signals effectively 32   
  40. 40. Figure 4.3.1.3 shows Column Chart regarding executives at the workplace is using body language signals effectively. Among 30 executives respondents whether Senior or Junior Executive, 33.33% tend to agree that executives at workplace use body language signals effectively. The same percentage of 33.33% belongs to slightly agree. This means, the respondents are agreed to this statement. However, they perhaps do not really know whether executives are using and practicing appropriate body language signals effectively. To commit this argument into realistic, Tricia EllisChristensen (2003) claims that, in United States of America (USA), USA workers; some kind of suitable workplace of body language in order to perceive people as honest, open minded, flexible, and make relationship with each other. In addition, if a person is sitting up straight but relaxed position in a chair during an office meeting for instance, could interpret that the person is released and attentive. Therefore, executives at workplace use body language signals effectively in different surroundings. 4.3.4 Research question 4: The major reasons for executives to use body language in their daily interaction The fourth research question focused on the major reasons for executives to use body language in their daily interaction. This research question will explore executives’ daily body language in interaction. The question can be answered in the questionnaire. Based on question number 6, executives tend to use body language for instance, posture, hand move, eye movement, facial expression and tone of voice. This argument is strongly supported by Tricia (2003) on her study on what is appropriate body language?. US workers are used body language at the workplace. Everyone tends to express his/her expression by using body language. 33   
  41. 41. Second reasons executives to use body language in daily interaction, because; since executives are important in organization, so, they must apply body language so that people in organization will better understand of the executives’ messages. As we can see to the questionnaire, Part C question 1(d) which communication barrier exists in your organization when English is used without the support of body language. The data analysis for the question is as below: Table 4.3.1.4 Communication barrier exist in organization when English is used without the support of body language. From the Column Chart above, we can conclude that if we sum up the three level of agreement which are slightly agree, 13.33%, agree, 46.67%, and strongly agree, 23.33%, the total of this level of agreement is 83.33%. 83.33% agreed that communication barrier exist in organization when English is used without the support 34   
  42. 42. of body language. Thus, the major reasons for executives to use body language in daily interaction, they want to avoid communication barrier if the decline to communicate using body language. 4.3.5 Research question 5: Executives understand the significant of body language signals in interactions at the workplace This research question is focused on the executives understanding the significant of body language signals in interactions at the workplace. This research question can be answered by looking at the questionnaire, Part C question 1 (f) that is productivity is the result of good communication combined with correct words and correct body gesture. The Column Chart is as below: Table 4.3.1.5 Productivity is the result of good communication combined with correct words and correct body gesture 35   
  43. 43. Over 53% of 30 respondents agreed that productivity is the result of good communication combined with correct words and correct body gestures. It means that body language which is body gesture cannot be separated in communication as to produce a good productivity in communication. Therefore, executives definitely understood the significant of using body language signals in daily interaction because they want to produce good communication in productivity. 36   
  44. 44. CHAPTER 5 RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION 5.1 Introduction This chapter aims to propose recommendations regarding this study. From the discussion in previous chapter, it is understood that some executives faced difficulties in interpreting body language expressions used. Most of the time, executives tend to misinterpreted a person’s message during conversation. This is because some executives do not know how to practice correct body language signals in interaction because they tend to learn and study on someone’s body language interpretation. In addition, this will lead to other problems instance; miscommunication will occur if the problem is not going to solve. Other than that, the problem will definitely affect the relationships among colleagues. The wrong and inappropriate body language expressions will lead to negative perception towards someone. People tend to judge on one behaviour, characteristics, and performance regarding someone is used his/her body language expressions. 5.2 Recommendations As a recommendation for this study, the executives must be more cautious on their daily interaction which they aware of the use of body language expressions so that they would not misinterpret and misuse of someone message. The executives also should remind themselves and other people which they must always take heed about the use of body language. Then, executives also should use the correct and appropriate body language signals, because if they use in a wrong way, the body 37   
  45. 45. language of their interpret will not going to understood by people. Moreover, if they tend to use correct body language expressions, this will result in positive impression and feedback. Obviously, body language is a pertinent element in interaction which cannot be resistance because someone has not gone to reach his/her communication effectively if he/ she do not use body language signals in interaction. This study can be done by future researcher to do the same study with different angle. For instance, the future researcher can do a research regarding use of body language signals as a lie detects. This is very interesting topic where the future researcher can understand of other people’s body language signals when they tend to lie. Other than that, this study must be more specific on executives which the researcher is only focusing on two different organizations; Monash University Administrative Department and Sime Darby Global Service Centre instead the organizations can be in a wider range all over Malaysia. 5.3 Conclusion In conclusion, since this study is focused on the use of body language among executives in an organization at the workplace, that is obviously important to executives to evaluate and analyse this study. Therefore they can practically use the correct body language signals in interaction. Interpretations of body language expressions will also influent by several factors when different people tend to interpret body language expressions differently. This study will be a tool of guidance for executives to use body language expressions in interaction effectively. In addition, this study also will help others to understand, use and interpret body language signals. This is very critical, as reflected through this study; body language signals are 38   
  46. 46. synonymous with communication. People cannot communicate only in utterance, but the communication must be completed together with great body language signals. Last but not least, this study will help others about the use of body language among executives within organization in a workplace. 39   
  47. 47. REFERENCES Stephen E. Lucas (2007) The Art of Public Speaking (9th edition) Howard, H., & Raymond, L. (1982) Organizational Communication (vol.7) published in cooperation with American Business Communication Association & International Communication Association. Tarnow, E. (1997) Body Language is of Particular Importance in Groups. Retrieved April 18, 2008 from http://bodylanguageWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia.com Catherine Katz (2007) body Language in used. Valencia West Campus Library Tutorial Series Mark L. Knapp & Judith A. Hall (1997, p. 5) Non verbal Communication in Human Interaction Francois et all. (1984) A Speech Related to Body Language. Retrieved Mac 20, 2008 from http://senseofcinema.com/contents/directors/03/truffaut.html Albert Mehrabian (1972) and his 7%-38%-55% Rule. Retrieved April 14, 2008 from http://library.thinkquest.org/04oct/00292/origin/mehrabian.htm Desmond Morris (1969, p. 256) The Human Zoo. Jonathan Cape, London 40   
  48. 48. Charles Darwin (1881) Animal and Human Communication. Book Entitled the Descent of Man Tricia Ellis-Christensen (2003) What is Appropriate Body Language in a Workplace. Retrieved May14, 2008 from http://wisegeek.com/what-is-appropriateworkplace-body-language.htm Mary Nicole Hicks (2007) Body Language Basics, Postures. Retrieved October25, 2008 from http://body-language-basics.htm Gordon Marshall. (2008) "Body Language." A Dictionary of Sociology. Retrieved March 21, 2010 from Encyclopedia.com: http://encyclopedia.com/doc/1O88bodylanguage.html Heather Rothbauer- Wanish (2009) Unspoken Messages can be critical to workplace communication. Retrieved September, 29 2009 from http://personal-workhabits.suite101.com/article.cfm/nonverbal_communication_in_the_workplace George Yule (2006) a study about language. Third edition. Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York Mara Levy (2007) History of body language. Retrieved March 22, 2010 from http://body-philosophy.net/historyofbodylanguage       41   
  49. 49. APPENDIX 42   
  50. 50. APPENDIX A: - QUESTIONNAIRE A STUDY ON THE USE OF BODY LANGUAGE AMONG EXECUTIVES WITHIN ORGANIZATION IN A WORKPLACE I am a student of applied Language Studies (Hons) English for Professional Communication at the Academy of Language Studies, UiTM, Shah Alam. I am carrying out a study as a part of the coursework for my Academic Project course. I would be appreciated l if you could spare time to complete questionnaire. Your answers will be kept confidential. Thank you very much for your cooperation. PART A - Background Info (Please tick (√) for the answer of your choice) 1. Position Senior executive Junior Executive 2. Gender Male Female 3. Age 18 years – 20 years 21 years – 25 years 26 years – 30 years 31 years – 35 years 43   
  51. 51. 36 years – 40 years 41 years – 45 years 4. Department Marketing Finance Administrative / Operational Others (please specify) ___________________ PART A - Background Info (Please tick (√) for the answer of your choice) PART B – Non-verbal communication (Please tick (√) for the answer of your choice) 5. Does your position involve communicating with others? Yes No 6. Based on your experience, which of the following body language expression is often used in your organization? Body Gestures: - Posture Hand move Eye movement Facial Expression Tone of voice (anger, sad, happy feelings) Others (Please specify) ______________________________ 44   
  52. 52. 7. How many percent do you think non verbal communication influence your working life? 80%-100% 50%-79% 30%-49% 0%-29% 8. How many percent does you realize body language signals,(for instance; when a person crosses his or her arms across chest while speaking, and when a person focuses on eye-contact) affect communication? 80%-100% 50%-79% 30%-49% 0%-29% 9. Have you ever misinterpreted a speech message because of your partner’s body gesture during a conversation? Yes No How frequent does this happen? Always Often Seldom Never 10. The following focus on your common body postures: a) How often do you cross your arms during a conversation at the workplace? Always Often Seldom Never b) Do you frequently rest your chin on your palm whenever you communicate with others? Always Often Seldom Never 45   
  53. 53. c) Do you practice direct eye contact when talking to your colleagues? Always Often Seldom Never d) Do you frequently fidget with your hands or a pen while in a meeting room or during a discussion? Always Often Seldom Never 46   
  54. 54. PART C – Importance of Body Language in Communication 2 3 4 5 6 b) Communication breaks down when little or no attention is paid to a person’s body gestures. 1 2 3 4 5 6 c) Communication barrier exists in your organization when English is used without the support of body language. 1 2 3 4 5 6 d) Body language signals are essential to executives so that work becomes more effective. 1 2 3 4 5 6 e) Executives at your workplace use body language signals effectively. 1 2 3 4 5 6 f) 1 2 3 4 5 6 Productivity is the result of good communication combined with correct words and correct body gestures. Strongly Agree Slightly Agree 1 Agree Slightly Disagree a) Body language is important in communication. Disagree 1. Please indicate your level of agreement with each of the statements below: Strongly Disagree (Please circle (O) for the answer of your choice) 47   
  55. 55. If you have any comments or ideas to share in regards of this study, kindly write them below, or e-mail me at [pejoy86@yahoo.com] ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ Thank you for your time and contribution! Mohd Zulfadli Bin Mohd Rosli B.A Applied Language Studies (Hons) English for Professional Communication 48   

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