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Lecture 1: Foundations of Business and Organizational Communication.

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1 Lecture 1: Foundations of Business and Organizational Communication

2 2 Foundations of Business and Organizational Communication I.The Communication Connection A.Communication B.Organizational Communication II. The Nature of Communication A.Critical Components of Communication B.Functions of Communication in Organization

3 3 Foundations of Business and Organizational Communication III. Organizational Communication Networks A. Formal Communication Networks 1.Three Types of Communication Flow Downward information flow Elements that flow downward Best bets to improve downward communication Upward information flow Factors that allow upward communication to be effective Best bets to improve upward communication Horizontal information flow

4 4 Foundations of Business and Organizational Communication A. Formal Communication Networks 2.Limitations for Formal Communication Network Limit Lower-level employees’ access to decision makers Each link in the communication chain is a potential source of blockage or distortion B. Informal Communication Networks 1.Grapevine Communication 2.Management by Walking Around (MWA)

5 5 Foundations of Business and Organizational Communication IV. Factors Affecting Communication Effectiveness A. Communication Climate Supportive Climate vs. Defensive Climate B. Management Styles Theory X Theory Y Theory Z

6 6 Foundations of Business and Organizational Communication V.Barriers to Effective Communication VI.Ways to Overcome Barriers

7 7 Communication Communication: is a process by which information is exchanged between or among individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, and behavior -- resulting in shared meanings between sender and receiver (Source: Richardmond V., & McCroskey, J., 1992, p19)

8 8 Organizational Communication Organizational Communication:  Communication which originates within organization  Communication: A process through which people act together, create, sustain, and manage meanings through the use of verbal and non-verbal signs and symbols within a particular context.  Interpersonal & Organizational Dimensions Source: Conrad, C. (1994). Strategic organizational communication: Toward the twenty-first century. (3 rd ed.)., p.3.

9 9 Critical Components of Communication 1.Source 2.Message 3.Channel 4.Receiver 5.Feedback

10 10 Critical Components of Communication Source (Encoder) Receiver (Decoder) MessageChannel(s) Barriers Feedback

11 11 Assessment of Communication Channel METHODADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGES Phone Speed Permits give-and-take of questions Words and figures might be misunderstood No record of conversation Might be interruption of ongoing work In Person Visual Permits better meeting of minds The time may not be convenient to you or the other person Informal Note / Memo Brief Can be filed “for the record” Permits considered statement Greater impact than spoken words No immediate reply Your memo is at the mercy of a routine delivery and the bulk of receiver’s mail, or his disinclination to check his in- box.

12 12 Assessment of Communication Channel (cont’d) METHODADVANTAGESDISADVANTAGES Formal Report Complete Permits time for organizing material Can be reported to others Authoritative Requires considerable time Speed Reduced cost Convenience Open communication Overuse Lack of privacy Message overload Less face-to-face communication

13 13 Functions of Communication in Organization FunctionCharacteristics To inform 1. To inform Provides needed information to personnel; usually conducted in a written format To regulate 2. To regulate Involves the communication that is directed toward regulatory policies within the organization; information usually not pleasant To integrate 3. To integrate Focuses on coordination of task, work assignment, and group coordination

14 14 Functions of Communication in Organization (cont ’ d) FunctionCharacteristics To manage 4. To manage Focuses on getting personnel to do what is needed, establishing relationships with personnel To persuade 5. To persuade Attempts to influence the employee to do something in particular To socialize 6. To socialize Focuses on the individual being integrated into the communication networks. It means being told whom one should talk to and what one should talk about (Sources: Richmond & McCroskey, pp )

15 15 Three Types of Communication Flow TypeAdvantages Downward  Lets managers direct activities of employees Upward  Helps managers monitor performance and obtain ideas Lateral / Horizontal  Promotes flow between departments or  among peers  Helps employees to do their job efficiently  Depends on the degree of cross-functional interaction required by the organization

16 16 Downward Information Flow Five Elements that Generally Flow Downward in All Organizations: 1. Job instruction 2.Rationale - explanation of a duty or assignment 3.Ideology - encourages employees to “buy into the organization”  loyalty 4.Information; regulations; changes in benefits 5.Feedback - performance appraisal Source: Katz and Kahn (1978)

17 17 Downward Information Flow (cont’d) Best Bets for Improving Downward Communication: 1.Small group meetings that permit exchange of information 2.Company publications 3.Supervisory meetings between managers and direct subordinates 4.Mass meetings of employees 5.Other methods: bulletin boards, inserts in pay envelopes, public address announcements, posters, audiovisual presentations

18 18 Upward Information Flow Four Factors that Are Most Likely to Influence Upward Communication: 1.Positive tone 2.Appropriate time 3.Messages that support current policy 4.Right person (Sources: Koehler and Huber, 1974)

19 19 Upward Information Flow (cont’d) Best Bets for Improving Upward Communication: 1. Informal discussions with one or a few employees 2. Discussions between higher management and first-level supervisors 3. Attitude surveys 4. Outside counseling 5. Discussions with union representatives 6. Suggestion systems 7. Internal publications with complaint or question / answer columns

20 20 Limitations for Formal Communication Network 1.Limits lower-level employees’ access to decision makers 2.Each link in the communication chain is a potential source of blockage or distortion

21 21 Limitations for Formal Communication Network (cont ’ d) Example: The amount of information loss Board of Directors 100%  Vice Presidents 63%  General Supervisors 56%  Plant Managers 40%  General Foremen 30%  Workers 20%

22 22 Informal Communication Networks Grapevine communication Contains a mix of business and personal messages FACTS + ASSUMPTIONS + OPINIONS Enables the organization to function efficiently

23 23 Communication Climates: Supportive (Open) Vs Defensive (Close) In Supportive Climates In Defensive Climate Managers view themselves and their employees as equal Managers view themselves as superior Managers ask questions and analyze answers Managers pass judgment Communication is straightforward Communication is manipulative, full of hidden meanings and ambiguity Managers encourage group problem solving Managers impose solutions Managers are flexible and willing to change their views Managers are dogmatic and certain about answers Managers empathize with employees Managers are indifferent to employees’ feelings

24 24 Management Styles X 1. Theory X (McGregor) Workers are viewed as lacking motivation, requiring control through fear; closed communication climate Y 2. Theory Y (McGregor) Workers are viewed as motivated and responsible, deserving encouragement and support; open communication climate Z 3. Theory Z (Ouchi) Workers are viewed as part of a family or team; open communication climate; participative management

25 25 Barriers to Effective Communication Climate control A.Climate control – closed or inadequate communication climate Emotional interference B.Emotional interference Information overload C.Information overload Defensiveness D.Defensiveness Poor listening skills E.Poor listening skills Cultural differences F.Cultural differences

26 26 Ways to Overcome Barriers open communication A.Foster an open communication climate B.Avoid defensive reactions feedback C.Facilitate feedback from others by listening with open mind intercultural D.Understand intercultural communication

27 27 ~ The End ~


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