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Chapter Four – Problems of Communication.  Know the five steps of the communication process  Be familiar with the nine barriers to communications 

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter Four – Problems of Communication.  Know the five steps of the communication process  Be familiar with the nine barriers to communications "— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter Four – Problems of Communication

2  Know the five steps of the communication process  Be familiar with the nine barriers to communications  Understand how communication and information flow through an agency’s chain of command  Understand informal communication networks in the workplace  Understand nonverbal communication  Understand the difference between communication and information  Understand exchange theory exchange networks  Be able to define linking pin theory  Understand the ethical issues relating to communications

3  Interpersonal communication begins with a dyad – one individual sending information to another person who receives it.  Communication is a sequential process. o Person A (sender) encodes a message and transmits it through some medium. o Person B (receiver) receives the message and decodes it. o Any interruption of this process diminishes the communication.

4  Process o Begins when the sender feels the need to communicate. o Encoding – the sender translates the message into words or symbols o Transmission – the sender conveys the message through a chosen medium (e.g. e-mail) o Decoding – the receiver interprets and determines the meaning of the message  In organizations we must consider dyad functions between individuals, multiple dyads with groups and groups external to the organization.

5  Barriers o Preconceived ideas o Denial of contrary information o Use of personal meanings o Lack of motivation or interest o Non-credibility of the source o Lack of communication skills o Poor organizational climate o Use of complex channels o Communication gap


7  The communication process between individuals is simple, but has a high potential for failure.  Communications within organizations is far more complex and affected by the: o Organizational climate, o Complexity of communication channels, o Chain of command and hierarchy, and o Informal social system.

8  Chain of command o Filters messages and may be a barrier o Downward communication – allows executives a clear path to send information to subordinates o Horizontal communication – enables members at the same level to share information, solve problems, and coordinate activities  Informal communication o A reaction to cumbersome formal communication channels – the grapevine.

9  Organizational rules for communication o Exclusionary rules – limit and differentiate information that can and cannot be used within certain contexts o Organizational rules are often ‘understood’ and highly influenced by the hierarchical nature of the organization. o Content rules – govern standard word usage o Procedural rules – govern how and when communication happens

10  Informal communication networks o Social structures that evolve through repeated communication between individuals and groups. o Kinship networks – formed more for personal than professional reasons  Nonverbal communication o The oldest and often most powerful form of communication. o Rely on symbols, posture, inflection and other non- spoken elements of the message

11  Information and Communication o Information is the substance of communication o Communication is the process of sharing information  Load – the rate and complexity of communication  Overload – occurs when the flow of messages exceeds and individual’s or system’s capacity to process them. Affected by o Dependence on the information o Capacity of the receiver o Receiver’s desire for the information

12  Determinants of communication load o Absolute information – knowledge expressed in recognized symbolic terms o Distributed information – knowledge dispersed o Forms of information Environmental Motivational Instructional

13  Networks are dynamic because their members may enter or leave at any time.  Criminal justice workers may be a members of multiple networks simultaneously.  Networks tend to interlock with each other through common members.  The number of potential networks is virtually endless.





18  Informal networks are created in order to achieve greater efficiencies or avoid historical communication barriers.  Exchange theory – workers trade information and assistance with other workers in order to gain efficiencies.  Linking pins – individuals who serve as conduits between the groups they are a members of.

19  Environmental communication o In criminal justice the public’s right or need to know is balanced with the necessity of keeping some information confidential.  Intra-organizational communication o Hampered by the differential rules and expectations of other organizations.  Inter-organizational communication o The need for communication between all levels of the criminal justice system is more important following recent increases in terrorism.

20  The Internet has created new technologies that both facilitate and hamper communication.  Technological innovations sometimes conflict with information security procedures.  Tele- and videoconferencing enhance communication but do not replace face to face interaction.

21  Ethical communication requires: o An understanding of the importance of the communication process, o A commitment to create, promote and protect ethical boundaries for conversation and information sharing, o The avoidance of misusing information as a method of control, and o The setting of boundaries and rules for communication.

22  Using the information contained in this chapter, develop a comprehensive plan for improving inter- agency communication. Your plan, at a minimum, should include;  Strategies for overcoming communication barriers,  Opportunities for developing formal and informal communications resources, and  The use of technology to improve communications.  Describe how your plan would work between the police, fire and building permit functions.

23  The five steps of the communication process include: encoding, transmitting, selecting a medium or channel, receiving, and decoding  The nine barriers to communication include: preconceived ideas, denial of contrary information, use of personalized meanings, lack of motivation or interest, non-credibility of source, lack of communication skills, poor organizational climate, use of complex channels, and communication gap.  In a hierarchical organization, communication flows downward from superior to subordinate and upward from subordinate to superior.

24  Executives do not communicate directly with field workers and vice versa.  Horizontal communication facilitates coordination.  Informal communication networks form on their own and for some purpose.  Individuals who are part of an informal communication network share information with each other but not with others who are not included.  Nonverbal communication is part of the message when individuals communicate face to face.

25  Communication is a process that sends a message while information is the actual message.  In an exchange network members communicate regularly and exchange information for information. Information in these networks is a commodity.  Productivity in industry is higher in agencies that are coordinated by interlocking work groups rather than by a monolithic chain of command.  The groups are bound together by individuals (linking pins) who are members of more than one group.

26  The newly elected Mayor is concerned about “the apparent lack of communication between agencies within the city’s government”.  She calls a meeting of department heads and observes a palpable level of inter-agency distrust.  You, as an Assistant City Manager, are asked to develop stronger lines of communication between these agencies.

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