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Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management

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1 Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management
Chapter Four – Problems of Communication

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

4 Basic Theory of Communication
Process Begins when the sender feels the need to communicate. Encoding – the sender translates the message into words or symbols Transmission – the sender conveys the message through a chosen medium (e.g. ) 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 Basic Theory of Communication
Barriers Preconceived ideas Denial of contrary information Use of personal meanings Lack of motivation or interest Non-credibility of the source Lack of communication skills Poor organizational climate Use of complex channels Communication gap

6 Basic Theory of Communication

7 Communication in Organizations
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: Organizational climate, Complexity of communication channels, Chain of command and hierarchy, and Informal social system.

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

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

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

11 Communication in Organizations
Information and Communication Information is the substance of communication 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 Dependence on the information Capacity of the receiver Receiver’s desire for the information

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

13 Communication Roles Criminal Justice Practitioners
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.

14 Communication Roles Criminal Justice Practitioners

15 Communication Roles Criminal Justice Practitioners

16 Communication Roles Criminal Justice Practitioners

17 Communication Roles Criminal Justice Practitioners

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

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

22 Thinking Point and Question
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 Chapter Summary 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 Chapter Summary 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 Chapter Summary 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 Thinking Point and Question
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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