Virtual Organizations
Describe the evolution of the virtual organization. What are the pros and cons associated with this design? Provide examples of three technological devices/concepts that have had the greatest impact on virtual organizations. Please use document attached as part of reference, include citations & Two or more references is a MUST 

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Chapter Nine
Communication in Organizations
Chris&Strong
Learning(Objec-ves
A"er%reading%this%chapter%and%studying%the%materials,%you%should%be%able%to:
U"lize'the'elements'of'interpersonal'communica"on.
Recognize'the'barriers'to'interpersonal'communica"on.
Navigate'a'company's'formal'communica"on'system.
Explain'the'barriers'to'formal'communica"on.
Recognize'effec"ve'communica"on'in'interna"onal'se?ngs.
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Associated&Press
Steve(Jobs(and(Apple(Inc.(changed(the(ways(people(communicate.(In(this
photo,(Jobs(presents(the(new(MacBook(Air(in(2008.
Learning'Objec"ve'#1:
What(are(the(key(elements(of(communica-on(on(an(individual,(interpersonal(level?
9.1'Interpersonal'Communica"on
Communica-on'consists'of'transmi?ng,'receiving,'and'processing'informa"on.'In'organiza"ons,'communica"ons'flow'between'individuals,'between'levels'in'the
organiza"onal'hierarchy,'between'departments,'and'between'the'company'and'outside'publics.'Effec"ve'communica"on'has'oMen'been'linked'to'interpersonal'and'company
success.
What'makes'communica"on'a'cri"cal'success'factor?'First,'communica"on'takes'place'in'every'managerial'ac"vity'(ScoT'&'Mitchell,'1976).'Also,'poor'communica"on'leads'to
conflict'and'quality'communica"on'helps'to'resolve'conflict'(Trewatha,'Newport,'&'Johnson,'1997).'Further,'communica"on'skills'are'a'key'factor'in'career'success.'Those'who
can'make'effec"ve'verbal'presenta"ons'are'more'likely'to'be'perceived'as'poten"al'leaders.'Individuals'who'write'well'make'posi"ve'impressions'during'a'job'search'and'as
employees.
This'chapter'examines'communica"on'at'the'individual,'interpersonal'level'first.'Then,'communica"on'systems'receive'aTen"on.'A'company's'formal'communica"ons,'as'well
as'its'informal'networks'of'communica"on'such'as'electronic'media'and'social'networks,'require'careful'aTen"on'if'the'company'is'to'be'successful.
OB(IN(ACTION
Steve(Jobs(and(Communica-on
There'can'be'liTle'debate'that'Steve'Jobs'and'Apple'Inc.'changed'the'ways'in'which
people'communicate'over'the'past'two'decades.'Although'Jobs'passed'away'in'2011,
Apple's'numerous'innova"ve'products'have'drama"cally'increased'access'to
informa"on'of'all'types'and'made'it'easier'for'individuals'to'contact'one'another'and
interact'with'various'businesses.
Crea"ng'and'sustaining'such'an'impacaul'company'required'quality'communica"on
skills.'Jobs's'career'provides'an'example'of'the'effec"ve'use'of'informa"on'and
communica"on.'His'drama"c'launches'of'new'products'in'front'of'live'audiences'were
well'documented.
Jobs'believed'in'several'key'principles.'One'involved'being'willing'and'able'to'say'"no."
He'was'personally'responsible'for'stopping'a'project'that'would'have'created'a'device
similar'to'a'Palm'Pilot,'concentra"ng'instead'on'developing'the'iPod'and'iPhone.'Jobs
strived'for'simplicity'in'communica"on'and'in'all'Apple'products.'He'also'maintained
small'groups'in'order'to'effec"vely'facilitate'various'ac"vi"es'(Qualman,'2011).
While'many'hailed'and'praised'Jobs's'approach'to'communica"on,'cri"cs'also'emerged.'One'coworker'noted'that'"The'highs'were'unbelievable.'.'.but'the
lows'were'unimaginable"'(Dumaine'&'Berlin,'1983).'Jef'Raskin,'a'former'colleague,'once'said'that'Jobs'"would'have'made'an'excellent'King'of'France"'due'to
his'compelling'and'largerkthanklife'persona'(Appleyard,'2009).
A'major'communica"on'challenge'occurred'when'Jobs'became'ill'and'was'forced'to'first'take'a'leave'of'absence'and'then'to'step'down'as'CEO'of'Appl.
Several'health'concerns'caused'him'to'take'temporary'leaves'star"ng'in'2004,'and'for'the'most'part'his'absence'was'shrouded'in'a'level'of'secrecy'in'order
to'maintain'his'personal'privacy'while'preserving'the'appearance'that'the'company'remained'strong'and'vibrant.'AMer'Jobs's'first'absence'due'to'illness'was
announced,'the'company's'stock'immediately'dropped'in'value.'When'he'returned,'several'observers'noted'that'his'oncekdynamic 'speeches'had'become
listless'and'lacked'energy.'Issues'with'his'pancreas'and'later'a'liver'transplant'created'these'complica"ons'(Wingfield,'2011).'Jobs'permanently'stepped'down
on'August'24,'2011.'The'announcement'led'to'audible'groans'from'his'audience.'When'Jobs'died'later'that'year,'industry'analysts'wondered'how'the'loss'of
such'a'dynamic'innovator'and'communicator'would'impact'Apple'for'the'foreseeable'future.
Ques-ons(for(Students
1.'What'communica"on'skills'would'be'necessary'to'manage'an'innova"ve'company'such'as'Apple?
2.'Do'you'think'a'bombas"c'personality'can'be'associated'with'effec"ve'communica"on,'or'does'it'risk'aliena"ng'the'audience?
3.'What'level'of'communica"on'should'have'taken'place,'from'a'companykwide'perspec"ve,'during'Jobs's'leaves'of'absence?
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Interpersonal(Communica-on(Models
Onekonkone'and'onekpersonkwithkakgroup'communica"ons'represent'one'of'the'most'common'elements'of'everyday'workplace'life.'Several'models'of'these'types'of
interpersonal'communica"ons'have'been'created.'One'of'the'most'straighaorward'is'provided'in'Figure'9.1.'It'illustrates'a'linear'model'of'interpersonal'communica"on,'such
as'a'conversa"on'between'an'employee'and'a'manager,'a'conversa"on'between'coworkers,'or'a'presenta"on'by'a'manager'to'a'project'team,'as'well'as'ekmails, 'text
messages,'and'leTers.'(Guffrey'&'Loewy,'2011).
Figure(9.1:(A(basic(interpersonal(communica-ons(model
This(model(illustrates(a(linear(model(of(interpersonal(communica-on.(The(idea-on(originates(with(the
sender;(finally,(feedback(is(sent(to(the(original(sender.
In'the'model,'the' sender'transmits'a'message'or'an'idea.'This'message'is'formed'through'encoding,'which'uses'language'or'verbal'cues'accompanied'by'nonverbal'cues.
Verbal'cues'can'be'spoken,'printed,'or'even'sent'as'a'text'message.'Nonverbal'cues'include'all'other'forms'of'message'sending.'Electronic'transmissions'go'beyond'text
messages'and'ekmails. 'Technologies'such'as'Skype'allow'for'interpersonal'mee"ngs'via'televised'images.
A'transmission(device'carries'a'message—via 'sound'waves,'light'waves,'pieces'of'paper,'mobile'phone'signals'and'screens,'the'Internet,'computer'monitors,'billboards,'radio
or'television'signals,'or'through'an'endless'number'of'addi"onal'carriers.'Decoding'occurs'as'the'receiver'encounters'the'message'and'comprehends'or'interprets'it.'Every
sense'can'be'part'of'decoding,'including'hearing,'seeing,'feeling,'smelling,'and'tas"ng'various'cues.'In'a'standard'interpersonal'interac"on,'sight'and'hearing'are'oMen'used.
Decoding'involves'interpreta"on'of'verbal'and'nonverbal'cues,'normally'at'the'same'"me.
The'receiver'is'the'sender's'intended'audience,'which'is'either'a'single'person'or'a'group.'Feedback'returns'to'the'sender'in'the'form'of'evalua"on'of'the'message.'The
receiver'transmits'verbal'and'nonverbal'cues'that'suggest,'"I'don't'understand,"'"I'disagree,"'"You're'absolutely'right,"'"This'is'frustra"ng,"'or'other'reac"ons'to'the'sender,
possibly'including,'"I'm'not'really'listening."'Then,'most'of'the'"me,'the'conversa"on'con"nues.'A'variety'of'forces'and'factors'can'prevent'messages'from'being'sent'correctly
or'accurately'received.'In'Figure'9.1,'the'disrup"ons'are'shown'as' noise,'or'barriers'to'communica"on.
Interac9on%Model%of%Oral%Communica9on
In'the'1960s,'basic'models'were'expanded'to'indicate'the'interac"on'of'two'people'engaged'in'a'dialogue,'which'resulted'in'the' interac-on(model.'Figure'9.2'depicts'this
model'of'the'mutual'transmission'and'recep"on'of'messages'and'feedback.'In'essence,'the'model'suggests'a'more'interac"ve'nature'of'communica"on'(Wood,'2009).'The
interac"on'model'remains'"linear"'in'the'sense'that'a'message'first'goes'one'way'(Person'A'to'Person'B)'then'the'other'(Person'B'back'to'Person'A).'Clearly,'most
conversa"ons'are'not'that'organized'and'sequen"al,'leaving'room'for'addi"onal'ideas'about'how'interpersonal'communica"on'transpires.
Figure(9.2:(An(interac-on(model
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Figure(9.3:(Kinesic(cues(and(interpreta-ons
In(the(interac-on(model,(both(par-es(transmit(and(receive(messages,
and(both(are(involved(in(encoding,(decoding,(and(interpre-ng.
Transac9on%Model%of%Oral%Communica9on
Recent'conceptualiza"ons'of'the'nature'of'communica"on'suggest'an'intricate'and'sophis"cated'paTern.'Instead'of'opera"ng'somewhat'like'a'tennis'match,'where'one
person'sends'and'the'other'receives'and'then'the'process'reverses,'actual'discussions'take'place'nearly'simultaneously'(Duncan'&'Moriarty,'1998).
In'the' transac-on(model,'a'person'speaking'studies'the'intended'audience'as'the'message'is'being'sent.'The'speaker'may'see'the'receiver'grin,'frown,'or'nod'in'agreement
before'all'of'the'words'have'been'spoken.'In'essence,'conversa"ons'resemble'a'dance'in'which'both'par"es'form'the'transac"on.'Such'a'model'accounts'for'interrup"ons,
persons'finishing'each'other's'sentences,'and'incomplete'transmissions,'finishing'with'phrases'such'as,'"You'know'what'I'm'talking'about,"'as'the'other'person'nods'"yes,"'or
"I'know'you'think'I'm'wrong"'as'the'person'nods'"no."
In'a'management'se?ng,'the'transac"on'model'can'be'used'to'explore'the'movement'from'misunderstanding'to'understanding'and'from'disagreement'to'agreement,'as'well
as'the'escala"on'of'a'conversa"on'into'a'conflict.'Every'dance'will'be'different.'At'"mes'the'partners'move'in'perfect'synch;'at'others'they'stumble'or'step'on'each'other's
toes.
Each'of'the'three'models—the'linear'model,'the'interac"on'model,'and'the'transac"on'model—contains 'key'elements'of'encoding,'transmission,'decoding,'and'feedback.'The
models'also'show'that'some'conversa"ons'go'poorly'and'that'misunderstandings'do'occur.'Noise,'or'the'barriers'to'communica"on,'can'cause'such'disrup"ons.
Nonverbal%Interpersonal%Communica9on
Nonverbal'communica"on'plays'a'major'role'in'onekonkone 'interac"ons.'Along'with'spoken'words,
tone'and'other'nonverbal'cues'accompany'every'message'transmission.'The'forms'of'nonverbal
communica"on'include'kinesic'cues,'appearance'and'dress,'ar"facts,'touch,'space,'and
paralanguage.
Kinesic(cues'are'messages'communicated'by'nonlinguis"c'body'language'or'movements.'These
include'messages'conveyed'by'various'parts'of'the'body'(Birdwhistell,'1970).'Examples'are'provided
in'Figure'9.3.
Appearance'consists'of'controllable'and'less'controllable'factors.'One'less'controllable'element'is
aTrac"veness.'People'who'are'physically'aTrac"ve'enjoy'a'kind'of'halo'effect,'in'which'others
assume'they'are'more'intelligent,'wiTy,'charming,'and'even'more'honest'than'others'(Harper,'1993;
Schoenberger,'1997).'The'other'component'of'appearance,'dress,'can'be'controlled.'Hairstyles,
clothing,'and'the'use'of'makeup'also'convey'nonverbal'images'and'messages,'including'trying'to
draw'aTen"on'to'yourself'or'trying'to'look'professional.
Ar"facts'include'addi"onal'items'that'send'messages,'such'as'jewelry'and'eyeglasses.'Some
piercings'signal'rebellion.'Coworkers'are'likely'to'no"ce'expensive'rings,'necklaces,'and'other'forms
of'jewelry.'Some'may'even'judge'a'person'who'drives'an'old,'beatkup 'car'as'less'successful'and
talented'than'an'individual'in'the'same'profession'driving'an'upscale'vehicle.
Physical'touch'has'changed'in'terms'of'what'may'be'considered'acceptable'or'unacceptable.
Hugging,'backslapping,'and'other'forms'of'touch'have'largely'disappeared'in'many'workplaces,
unless'express'permission'has'been'granted.'Handshakes'con"nue'to'convey'messages.'A'firm
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Body(language(and(postures(are(kinesic(cues(that(are(interpreted(by(observers.
Sources:&Adapted&from&Pentland,&A.&(2008).&Honest&signals:&How&they&shape&our&world.&Boston:&M.I.T.
Press,&10–40,&105;&Malandro,&L.&A.,&&&Barker,&L.&(1983).&Nonverbal&communicaSon.&Reading,&MA:
AddisonUWesley,&226–230.
iStockphoto
WriVen(messages(include(eWmails,(memos,(and
instant(messages.
handshake'accompanied'by'eye'contact'expresses'confidence.'A'weak'handshake'with'eyes'averted
signals'shyness'and'possibly'other'less'desirable'traits'(Brown,'2000).
Space,'or'physical'distance,'sends'addi"onal'signals.'Substan"al'evidence'suggests'that'concepts'of
personal'space'vary'widely'by'culture.'In'the'United'States,'someone'who'feels'his'or'her'personal
space'has'been'invaded'quickly'becomes'defensive,'because'"ge?ng'in'someone's'face"'indicates
aggression'and'oMen'accompanies'an'argument'or'more'violent'interac"on.
Paralanguage'refers'to'how'something'is'said'rather'than'what'is'said'in'a'message.'Key'elements
include'tone,'phrasing,'pacing,'pitch,'and'intensity'(Knapp'&'Hall,'1992).'Paralanguage'changes
messages'from'surprised'to'sarcas"c,'such'as,'"Oh,'really?"'Pacing'indicates'when'a'person'wishes
to'speak'or'to'stop'speaking.'Paralanguage'conveys'urgency,'especially'through'pitch.'A'high'pitch
indicates'the'desire'for'a'stronger'response.'All'of'these'verbal'and'nonverbal'cues'combine'to'send
messages.
WriBen%Interpersonal%Communica9on
WriTen'messages'at'work'can'take'the'form'of'memos,'ekmails, 'instant'messages,'leTers,'and'reports.'The'messages'may
range'from'short'texts'or'tweets'to'longer,'more'formal'leTers'and'reports'to'commiTees'or'management'teams.'As'is'the
case'with'spoken'messages,'the'sender'and'receiver'should'be'aware'of'poten"al'barriers'to'communica"on.'The
advantage'of'wri"ng'results'from'the'ability'to'carefully'consider'each'word'and'sentence'prior'to'transmi?ng'the'message
(Bell,'2004,'79–92).
In'summary,'various'models'have'been'used'to'explain'the'nature'of'the'communica"on'process,'both'in'verbal
conversa"ons'and'wriTen'messages.'Each'has'the'poten"al'to'transmit'an'idea'effec"vely'or'cause'communica"on
problems.'Overcoming'poten"al'barriers'to'communica"on'cons"tutes'a'key'workplace'ac"vity'that'can'make'you'a'more
valuable'employee.
NonWVerbals(Speak(More(Loudly(than
Words
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Non-Verbals Speak More Loudly than Words
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Comprehension(Exercise
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George&Doyle
Do(men(and(women(communicate(differently(at(work?
Learning'Objec"ve'#2:
How(can(an(individual(or(manager(overcome(the(barriers(to(interpersonal(communica-on?
9.2'Barriers'to'Interpersonal'Communica"on
Noise'distorts'or'disrupts'communica"on.'Barriers'to'communica"on'can'cause'misunderstandings,'conflicts,'and'failure'to'follow'direc"ves'or'orders;'they'can'also'create
addi"onal'organiza"onal'problems.'One'method'of'studying'communica"on'barriers'involves'the'analysis'of'the'parts'of'the'basic'communica"ons'model.'Such'an'approach
appears'in'Table'9.1.
Table(9.1:(Barriers(to(the(communica-on(process
Type(of(Barrier Example
Sender'barrier No'message'is'sent,'due'to'fear'or'lack'of'confidence.
Encoding'barrier The'message'is'expressed'poorly'or'in'error.
Medium'barrier The'communica"on'channel'is'blocked.
Decoding'barrier The'receiver'fails'to'correctly'understand'the'message.
Receiver'barrier The'receiver'does'not'pay'aTen"on'or'ignores'a'message.
Feedback'barrier The'receiver'does'not'confirm'that'the'message'was'or'was'not'understood.
Source:&Adapted&from&Kinicki,&A.,&&&Williams,&B.&(2008).&Management:'A'prac"cal'introduc"on.&New&York:&McGrawUHill, &493.
A'second'method'breaks'the'barriers'down'into'three'categories:'individual'differences,'situa"onal'factors,'and'transmission'problems.'The'third'category,'transmission
problems,'is'similar'to'the'concept'of'a'medium'barrier.
Individual(Differences
The'first'set'of'barriers,'individual'differences,'emerges'simply'because'of'the'two'people'involved'in'the'conversa"on.'Any'number'of'messages'becomes'lost'because'of'one
or'more'no"ceable'differences'between'the'sender'and'receiver.'These'differences'might'involve'age,'gender,'educa"onal'level,'status,'or'personality,'as'described'next.
Age
Differences'in'age'create'varying'frames'of'reference'(Hahn,'2011).'Age'becomes'a'barrier'to'communica"on'in'several'ways.'Many'younger'supervisors'report'problems
managing'older'workers,'believing'the'older'employees'do'not'listen'or'show'some'other'type'of'disrespect.'When'an'older'worker'offers'construc"ve'cri"cism'to'a'younger
employee,'the'more'junior'employee'may'respond'ineffec"vely'or'defensively.'Agekbased'jokes'and'taun"ng'can'build'barriers'between'employees.
Gender
Deborah'Tannen'(1990)'was'among'the'first'to'provide'commentary'about'genderkbased
communica"on'issues'in'her'book' You&Just&Don't&Understand.'Tannen's'work'has'pointed'out
nearly'100'key'gender'differences'that'can'become'communica"on'barriers.
In'general,'women'are'more'likely'to'use'expressive'and'effusive'language.'Females'oMen'rely'on
a'verbal'hedge,'such'as'"umm"'when'thinking'something'over,'or'"so"'to'accentuate'a'message
("She'was'so'funny"),'and'are'more'likely'to'state'business'requests'as'ques"ons.'A'female
supervisor'might'say,'"Would'you'mind'calling'this'person'to'make'an'appointment'for'me?"
Females'are'also'less'likely'to'directly'cri"cize'an'employee,'especially'in'public.
According'to'Tannen,'males'tend'to'use'more'direct'language,'interrupt'conversa"onal'partners
(especially'women),'and'are'more'inclined'to'aggressively'disagree'with'someone'in'public.'They
are'also'more'prone'to'make'declara"ve'statements'of'fact'(some"mes'when'they'don't'actually
know'the'facts).'Males'are'more'likely'to'ignore'comments'that'have'been'offered'by'another
person,'especially'when'that'person'disagrees'with'them.'And'finally,'men'tend'to'find'ways'to
control'conversa"ons,'especially'by'changing'the'subject'when'they'feel'they'are'"losing"'an
argument.
Recent'formula"ons'of'communica"on'and'gender'issues'suggest'a'more'complex
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conceptualiza"on'of'the'paTerns.'Rather'than'viewing'male/female'communica"on'paTerns'in'a'binary'manner'(e.g.,'men'are'likely'to'do'this;'women'are'likely'to'do'this),
postmodern'conceptualiza"ons'suggest'a'wider'diversity'of'gender'iden""es'and'communica"on'paTerns'(Cameron,'2005;'Maltz'&'Borker,'2007).
Educa9onal%Level
Each'year'of'educa"on'adds'to'an'employee's'vocabulary.'For'most,'studying'in'high'school'and'college'also'improves'a'person's'ability'to'think'cri"cally'and'to'analyze
situa"ons'using'a'greater'set'of'decisionkmaking 'concepts'and'models.'Problems'occur'when'someone'who'possesses'these'skills'converses'with'someone'who'does'not,'and
the'educated'person'is'unwilling'or'unable'to'engage'in'a'dialogue'using'less'complex'communica"on'signals.
Status
Any'person'with'higher'status'rou"nely'deals'with'people'who'are'made'anxious'by'his'or'her'presence'or'who'are'slightly'in"midated.'In'an'organiza"onal'se?ng,'a'chance
mee"ng'with'the'CEO'or'a'highkranking 'execu"ve'can'quickly'become'awkward'or'uncomfortable.'An'employee'who'struggles'with'public'speaking'might'find'it'even'more
difficult'to'give'a'presenta"on'with'a'highkranking 'company'official'in'the'audience.
Status'also'affects'the'ability'to'listen'effec"vely.'When'a'worker'feels'unseTled'in'front'of'an'execu"ve,'the'employee'may'focus'on'trying'to'look'good'and'not'listen'very
carefully.'Another'might'seek'to'ingra"ate'rather'than'to'engage'in'a'genuine'conversa"on.'The'person'waits'for'an'opening'to'pass'along'a'compliment'instead'of'hearing
what'the'execu"ve'says.
Personality
Several'personality'types'can'inhibit'communica"on.'A'shy'person'may'feel'pressured,'bullied,'or'in"midated'by'an'outgoing'or'bombas"c'person.'An'individual'with'an
analy"cal'and'reserved'personality'may'have'difficulty'communica"ng'with'someone'who'is'more'inclined'to'react'ins"nc"vely'to'problems'and'circumstances.
Individual'differences'create'circumstances'in'which'communica"on'can'be'disrupted.'As'companies'become'more'diverse,'some'of'these'problems'may'become'more
complex.'Tomorrow's'managers'should'expect'to'deal'with'these'and'other'poten"al'individual,'interpersonal'barriers.
Situa-onal(Factors
At'"mes,'characteris"cs'associated'with'senders'and'receivers'are'not'the'primary'barriers'to'communica"on.'Instead,'situa"onal'circumstances'are'the'cause'of'the'problem.
Table'9.2'lists'four'of'the'common'situa"onal'factors'that'can'prevent'a'message'from'being'received.
Table(9.2:(Situa-onal(factors(that(disrupt(communica-on
Exclusive'language
Emo"ons
anger
depression
envy'and'jealousy
personal'a?tudes'and'values
Se?ngs
Distrac"ons
Exclusive%Language
Terminology'that'can'only'be'understood'by'a'select'set'of'individuals'within'an'organiza"on'cons"tutes'exclusive(language.'Those'who'are'unfamiliar'with'the'language'are
systema"cally'excluded'from'a'conversa"on.'Exclusive'language'accentuates'the'differences'between'employees'and'creates'a'barrier'to'communica"on,'because'excluded
employees'feel'less'accepted.'Exclusive'language'can'emphasize'racial'differences,'disparity'in'status,'or'dissimilarity'between'company'departments.'In'each'case,'its
deliberate'use'is'designed'to'alienate'or'separate'one'group'from'another'(Rubin'&'Green,'1991).
Exclusive'language'oMen'reflects'gender'differences'(Media'Task'Force:'Honolulu'County'CommiTee'on'the'Status'of'Women,'1990).'As'an'example,'in'the'workplace'males
oMen'use'sports'metaphors'as'part'of'everyday'language.'Many'male'workers'would'be'familiar'with'the'following'phrases'and'the'sport'connected'to'each:
"That'one'was'a'real'Hail'Mary."
"He'took'one'for'the'team."
"I'want'a'mulligan'on'that'one."
"We've'been'playing'manktokman.'We'need'to'go'zone."
If'there'are'female'employees'(or'male'employees)'who'are'not'sports'enthusiasts,'they'may'be'less'familiar'with'this'type'of'language,'so'they'will'not'immediately
understand'the'message'and'can'feel'leM'out'or'excluded'as'a'result.'Of'course,'this'can'go'both'ways,'and'it'is'also'possible'for'females'to'use'exclusive'language.
Emo9ons
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image100/SuperStock
The(organiza-onal(se_ng(greatly(affects(communica-on(between(employees.
Situa-onal(factors,(such(as(serious(announcements,(construc-on(noise(nearby,(or
inclement(weather,(can(disrupt(effec-ve(communica-on.
Emo"ons'play'a'key'role'in'life'and'at'work.'Posi"ve'emo"ons'contribute'to'pleasant'working'rela"onships.'Feelings'of'affec"on,'loyalty,'and'trust'help'build'and'maintain
quality'interpersonal'interac"ons.'Other'emo"ons,'such'as'anger,'depression,'or'envy,'can'disrupt'communica"on'and'interfere'with'workplace'ac"vi"es.
For'example,'anger'disturbs'a'person's'concentra"on'and'thought'process.'An'angry'person'may'find'it'more'difficult'to'clearly'express'himself'or'herself.'Anger'causes'some
people'to'"fly'off'the'handle,"'leading'them'to'say'things'in'the'heat'of'the'moment'that'they'wish'they'could'take'back.'The'consequences'of'such'outbursts'can'affect'shortk
term'conversa"ons'and'longkterm'rela"onships.
Depression,'both'mild'and'severe,'affects'a'person's'reasoning'and'conversa"on.'A'depressed'person'may'choose'his'or'her'words'less'carefully,'whereas'another'person'may
avoid'conversa"on'altogether.
Envy'arises'in'many'ways.'An'employee'who'has'been'passed'over'for'a'promo"on'might'become'envious.'Another'may'be'envious'of'the'job'assignment'given'to'a'peer.'Envy
may'result'from'seeing'your'supervisor'giving'extra'aTen"on'to'a'coworker'while'basically'ignoring'you.'These'feelings'affect'future'conversa"ons.'More'caus"c'comments
may'be'made,'more'guarded'language'may'be'used,'or'someone'may'be'treated'with'a'cold'silence'and'not'know'why.
Several'personal'a?tudes'and'values'can'interrupt'communica"on.'Racism,'sexism,'and'other'forms'of'discrimina"on'can'be'expressed'through'derisive'language'designed'to
in"midate'or'insult'others.'Quality'interpersonal'communica"on'cannot'take'place'in'those'circumstances.
SeIngs
At'"mes,'an'organiza"onal'se?ng'can'create'communica"on'problems.'When'a'manager
announces'that'a'popular'employee'has'become'gravely'ill'or'has'died,'it'may'be'difficult'for'him'or
her'to'transmit'messages'effec"vely'aMer'that'point.'LiTle'quality'communica"on'takes'place'aMer'a
company'leader'declares'layoffs'or'reloca"on'to'a'foreign'country.'Some'joyous'occasions'also'can
hinder'communica"on,'such'as'the'announcement'of'the're"rement'of'a'manager'or'during'office
par"es'celebra"ng'holidays.
Distrac9ons
Several'distrac"ons'can'interfere'with'communica"on.'Outside'weather'events,'such'as'snowstorms
or'thunderstorms,'tend'to'draw'aTen"on'away'from'an'interpersonal'conversa"on'or'presenta"on
to'a'group.'Any'workplace'that'is'near'a'construc"on'zone'will'probably'encounter'difficul"es'in
communica"on.'Interpersonal'interac"ons'can'also'be'disrupted'by'more'subtle'cues,'such'as'when
one'person'tries'to'hold'a'conversa"on'with'someone'who'is'dressed'inappropriately.'On'an'even
smaller'scale,'have'you'ever'tried'to'talk'to'someone'who'has'something'stuck'in'his'or'her'teeth?
Transmission(Problems
In'any'conversa"on'or'message'transmission,'situa"on'barriers'can'arise.'New'technologies,'such'as
smartphones,'create'a'greater'number'of'communica"on'channels'but'also'may'present'new
barriers.'Some'of'the'more'common'transmission'problems'include'language,'slang,'technical'terminology,'sender'or'receiver'disabili"es,'and'nonverbal'contradic"ons'of
verbal'messages.
Language
Even'in'circumstances'in'which'everyone'speaks'the'same'language,'barriers'to'communica"on'can's"ll'arise.'Problems'with' seman-cs'emerge'when'a'word'or'phrase'has
more'than'one'meaning,'and'the'sender'and'receiver'are'using'different'versions.'For'example,'the'word'"response,"'when'used'in'a'sentence'such'as'"I'm'not'sure'what'to
make'of'your'response,"'can'be'interpreted'as'a'countercharge'or'simply'as'an'answer.'Many'managers'claim'they'have'an'"openkdoor 'policy."'The'meaning'of'openkdoor
policy'oMen'varies'among'managers.'Some'are'sugges"ng'they'willingly'listen'to'complaints'and'sugges"ons.'Others'are'saying'you'can'come'in'and'ask'for'help,'but'nothing
more.
Slang
Nearly'any'language'used'widely'around'the'world'contains'slang.'As'an'element'of'culture,'slang'evolves'and'regularly'changes.'In'the'1950s,'the'word'"bitchin'"'as'a'term'of
approval'was'in'vogue.'Each'genera"on'develops'its'own'set'of'slang'expressions,'and'even'those'can'change'over'"me.'The'Baby'Boom'genera"on'oMen'said'"bummer,"
"mellow,"'and'"cool"'in'the'1960s.'The'films&Valley&Girl'and' Clueless'spoofed'girls'who'had'to'include'the'word'"like"'in'every'sentence.'By'2011,'such'usage'was'common,
even'among'older'adults.
A'new'form'of'slang'has'emerged'from'the'use'of'social'media.'Due'to'the'character'limita"ons'imposed'by'TwiTer,'many'shortcuts'have'evolved.'Someone'who'does'not
understand'these'and'the'many'other'tweet'acronyms'would'encounter'a'barrier'to'interpersonal'communica"on.
Technical%Terminology
The'explosion'of'new'technologies'has'brought'with'it'a'vast'amount'of'new'terms.'In'the'year'2000,'the'term'"app"'had'no'special'meaning'with'regard'to'mobile'phone
devices.'Now,'most'people'know'what'the'term'means.'Likewise,'the'word'"tweet"'was'not'used'in'regular'conversa"on'un"l'recently.
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Social(networks(including(TwiVer(have(created(new(terminologies,(but(the
acronyms(used(on(these(sites(can(create(barriers(to(communica-on(for(those(not
familiar(with(them.
In'a'company,'each'department'speaks'its'own'language.'The'use'of'technical'terms'and
acronyms'may'create'confusion'between'members'of'the'same'organiza"on.'Informa"on
technology'(IT)'contains'highly'specialized'language.'Someone'speaking'to'an'IT'professional'may
be'confused'by'the'terminology.'While'an'accountant'knows'what'"DDB"'means,'a'marketer'may
not'(Hymowitz,'2006).
Sender%or%Receiver%Disabili9es
Physical'disabili"es'present'addi"onal'challenges'to'interpersonal'communica"on.'They'may'give
rise'to'communica"on'problems'for'both'the'sender'and'the'receiver.'A'sender'with'a'speech
impairment'may'have'greater'difficulty'framing'messages.'Someone'who'stuTers'or'has'a'lisp
may'have'trouble'speaking,'especially'to'groups'of'people.'Part'of'the'challenge'may'be'the
actual'forming'of'words,'or'it'may'be'the'embarrassment'or'shyness'that'results.'Receivers'who
have'difficulty'hearing'also'experience'a'key'barrier'to'communica"on.
Nonverbal%Contradic9ons%of%Verbal%Messages
A'nonverbal'contradic"on'occurs'when'a'person'says'something'verbally'that'does'not
correspond'with'his'or'her'body'language'and'gestures.'Saying'something'is'"interes"ng"'while
looking'distracted'or'inaTen"ve'conveys'two'different'messages.'During'the'hiring'process,
someone'who'arrives'late'to'an'interview,'fails'to'make'eye'contact,'and'slumps'down'in'a'chair'probably'will'not'receive'an'offer,'in'spite'of'any'verbal'expression'of'interest
in'the'job.'Tardiness'conveys'irresponsibility.'Casual'dress'and'slouching'portray'a'lack'of'interest.'Failing'to'make'eye'contact'indicates'you'have'something'to'hide.
Overcoming(Barriers(to(Interpersonal(Communica-on
Quality'communica"on'in'any'context'results'from'careful'prepara"on'and'situa"on'sensi"vity'by'a'sender'and'receiver.'Following'a'few'simple'steps'can'help'avoid
misunderstandings'and'conflict'as'well'as'enhance'the'chance'that'a'message'will'be'correctly'understood.'Senders'and'receivers'both'have'responsibili"es'that'can'overcome
any'barriers'that'are'present.'Table'9.3'summarizes'the'natures'of'these'du"es.
Table(9.3:(Crea-ng(quality(interpersonal(communica-on
Sender(Responsibili-es Receiver(Responsibili-es
Awareness'of'Barriers Ac"ve'Listening
Empathy Seeking'Clarifica"on'of'the'Message
Careful'ATen"on'to'Nonverbal'Cues
Confirma"on'of'the'Message
Joint(Responsibili-es
Building'Trust
Elimina"ng'Stereotypes
Se?ng'Egos'Aside
Sender%Responsibili9es
Senders'should'begin'by'making'sure'they'are'aware'of'any'barriers'that'might'be'present.'One'method'of'making'sure'a'conversa"on'begins'on'the'right'note'is'to
acknowledge'the'existence'of'the'barrier,'such'as'when'a'manager'says,'"I'know'you'are'both'preTy'angry'right'now"'to'two'people'engaged'in'a'conflict.'Also,'many'public
speakers'use'humor'to'point'out'a'barrier,'to'help'place'the'audience'at'ease.
Effec"ve'communicators'aTempt'to'understand'the'background'and'perspec"ve'of'others.'Empathy'has'always'been'a'valuable'communica"on'skill.'When'a'manager'speaks
with'a'frustrated'employee,'the'supervisor'can'acknowledge'he'or'she'understands'the'person'is'upset,'saying'something'along'the'lines'of'"I'understand'how'you'feel."
Paying'aTen"on'to'nonverbal'cues'requires'prac"ce.'To'communicate'effec"vely,'an'employee'should'become'aware'of'his'or'her'use'of'gestures.'A'close'friend'can'point'out
some'of'your'tendencies,'such'as'slouching'or'looking'down'while'you'talk.
Confirma"on'of'the'message'can'be'summarized'by'the'phrase,'"I'want'to'make'sure'you'understand."'True'communica"on'does'not'take'place'un"l'the'sender'cer"fies'that
the'message'was'received'as'intended.'A'manager'may'ask'an'employee'to'restate'what'he'or'she'said'to'make'sure'an'important'message'was'clearly'understood.
Receiver%Responsibili9es
Listening'carefully'and'not'allowing'distrac"ons'to'interfere'with'a'conversa"on'or'presenta"on'are'primary'receiver'responsibili"es.'The'mind'works'far'faster'than'a'person
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iStockphoto
Building(trust(is(an(important(component(of
individual(interpersonal(communica-on.
who'speaks'at'a'normal'pace.'Giving'par"al'aTen"on,'or'seeking'to'get'the'general'idea'of'what'is'being'said'without'focusing'on'the'interac"on,'oMen'leads'to'confusion'and
conveys'disrespect'to'the'speaker.'Listening'carefully'means'clearing'away'distrac"ons'and'not'adding'to'them.
Listeners'can'use'five'ac"ve'listening'styles:'empathe"c,'apprecia"ve,'discerning,'evalua"ve,'and'comprehensive.'Empathe"c'listening'focuses'on'body'language'and
presenta"on'media'and'refrains'from'judging'during'a'presenta"on.'Apprecia"ve'listening'involves'remaining'relaxed'and'seeking'entertainment'or'inspira"on'from'a
message.'Discerning'listening'engages'in'the'message,'trying'to'understand'it'and'determine'key'points,'oMen'while'taking'notes.'Evalua"ve'listening'frames'a'response'aMer
analyzing'the'message'content.'Comprehensive'listening'interprets'a'message'by'organizing'it'and'by'looking'for'logic'within'the'presenta"on.'An'effec"ve'listener'uses'each
of'these'tac"cs'at'the'appropriate'"me'(Condrill,'2005).
Clarifica"on'of'a'message'means'saying,'"I'don't'understand"'when'necessary.'Otherwise,'a'person'may'overreact'to'what'was'meant'to'be'a'noncontroversial'comment.
Clarifica"on'is'feedback'provided'by'the'receiver'to'the'sender.
Joint%Responsibili9es
Both'senders'and'receivers'can'aTempt'to'build'trust,'which'opens'the'door'for'a'more'authen"c'exchange'of'informa"on.'A
lack'of'trust'can'cause'defensiveness'as'par"cipants'become'more'likely'to'ques"on'the'accuracy'of'each'other's'statements.
Trust'building'takes'"me,'candor,'empathy,'and'the'willingness'to'be'open'with'others'(McCune,'1998;'Wilderdom.com,'2009).
Assuming'things'about'another'person'based'on'visible'characteris"cs'(age,'gender,'or'race)'leads'to'poor'communica"on'and
other'organiza"onal'problems.'One'method'for'overcoming'this'problem'is'to'make'an'honest'personal'assessment'of
personal'prejudices'and'tendencies'toward'stereotyping,'including'your'reac"ons'to'physical'aTrac"veness'in'others.'You'can
then'work'towards'a'more'open'mind'in'interpersonal'communica"ons'and'rela"onships.
Ego"sm'is'based'on'pride,'superior'ability,'arrogance,'and'outkofkcontrol 'selfkesteem.'Ego"sm'threatens'communica"on'by
crea"ng'turf'wars,'poli"cal'baTles,'and'peTy'disputes'over'credit,'resources,'and'rewards'(Lewicki'&'Tomlinson,'2003).'Nearly
everyone'has'experienced'the'problem'of'dealing'with'an'egomaniac'who'is'more'interested'in'himself'or'herself'than'in'any
issue'at'hand.'More'than'one'successful'mee"ng'has'resulted'from'par"cipant'willingness'to'"check'your'ego'at'the'door."
In'summary,'overcoming'the'barriers'to'interpersonal'communica"on'includes'sender,'receiver,'and'combined'responsibili"es.
Senders'should'be'aware'of'poten"al'barriers,'employ'empathy,'pay'careful'aTen"on'to'nonverbal'cues,'and'confirm'that'a
message'was'received'correctly.'Receiver'responsibili"es'include'ac"ve'listening'and'clarifying'messages'through'the'use'of
feedback.'Both'senders'and'receivers'can'seek'to'build'trust,'eliminate'stereotypes,'and'set'egos'aside'during'conversa"ons'and'interac"ons.
Comprehension(Exercise
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Learning'Objec"ve'#3:
How(can(employees(and(managers(successfully(navigate(a(company's(formal(communica-on(system?
9.3'Formal'Communica"on'Channels
The'development'of'new'formal'communica"on'technologies'has'led'to'drama"c'changes'in'organiza"onal'life.' Formal(communica-on'consists'of'informa"on'that'travels
through'organiza"onally'designated'channels.'Formal'communica"on'takes'the'form'of'verbal'transmissions,'such'as'telephone'calls,'and'wriTen'media,'such'as'memos'and
leTers.'The'evolu"on'of'these'channels'to'include'newer'technologies'has'changed'the'ways'in'which'employees'communicate'with'managers,'with'each'other,'and'with'the
public.'The'manner'in'which'work'itself'is'conducted'has'also'been'affected.'An'analysis'of'formal'communica"on'channels'includes'a'review'of'tradi"onal'formal'channels'as
well'as'newer'computerkbased'and'digital'technologies'(see'Table'9.4).
Table(9.4:(Tradi-onal(and(newer(formal(communica-on(channels
Tradi-onal(Verbal Tradi-onal(WriVen Newer(ComputerWBased/Digital
conversa"on memo ekmail
mee"ng leTer instant'message
telephone'call contract social'media
presenta"on proposal videoconference
company'magazine/newsleTer intranet
company'manual/handbook extranet
bulle"n'board
Tradi-onal(Formal(Communica-on(Channels
The'channels'noted'in'Table'9.4'regarding'formal'communica"on'remain'as'vital'informa"on'links'in'organiza"ons.'Verbal'channels'have'increased'in'importance'as'individuals
become'more'reliant'on'handheld'technologies'in'everyday'work'and'life.'Business'requires'involvements'and'rela"onships.'Interpersonal'conversa"ons,'mee"ngs,'phone
calls,'and'presenta"ons'are'part'of'everyday'business'life'and'serve'as'formal'communica"on'links.
WriTen'formal'communica"on'channels'have'been'adapted'to'newer'technologies.'Instead'of'distribu"ng'a'paper'magazine'or'newsleTer,'one'can'send'files'electronically.
Contracts,'proposals,'memos,'and'leTers'can'be'sent'as'PDF'files.'Company'manuals'and'handbooks'are'now'stored'on'an'intranet'rather'than'in'a'desk'drawer.'Many
situa"ons's"ll'require'words'to'be'put'on'paper'in'order'to'retain'something'as'basic'as'a'signature'or'a'hard'copy'of'a'contract'or'messag,'but'a'file'can'now'be'electronically
stored'rather'than'kept'as'a'hard'copy.
ComputerWBased/Digital(Channels
Some'evidence'suggests'that'ekmail 'may'be'giving'way'to'more'instantaneous'forms'of'communica"on'in'many'organiza"ons.'Posts'to'TwiTer'and'text'messages'are
apparently'more'readily'answered'by'younger'employees.'Further,'instant'messaging'infiltrated'the'workplace'from'the'boTom'up,'through'entryk'and'lowerklevel 'employees.
To'facilitate'this'medium,'IBM'offers'an'instant'messaging'service'for'businesses'to'use'for'internal'communica"ons'(Harmon,'2003).'One'advantage'of'instant'messaging'is
the'ability'to'provide'immediate'informa"on.'An'example'is'no"fica"on'that'a'person'has'become'sick'and'will'not'be'aTending'work;'instant'messaging'allows'a'replacement
to'be'found'more'quickly'(Zorawski,'2010).
Addi"onal'networking'takes'place'through'social'media'outlets'such'as'Facebook,'Digg,'and'LinkedIn.'Some'managers'have'discovered'that'these'outlets'provide'effec"ve
channels'to'interact'with'employees.'Many'companies'also'use'TwiTer'accounts'to'make'contacts'with'customers.'In'terms'of'internal'formal'communica"ons,'se?ng'up'a
keyword'specifically'for'the'purpose'of'communica"ng'with'staff'members'can'help'any'business'owner'in'a'number'of'situa"ons.
Videoconferencing'allows'employees'to'see'each'other'as'they'interact.'The'medium'allows'for'some'observa"on'of'nonverbal'cues'as'well'as'changes'in'vocal'tone'and'other
forms'of'interpersonal'cues.'Videoconferencing'also'connects'companies'with'customers'without'the'need'for'a'sales'call.
An'intranet,'or'internal'company'website,'connects'people'within'an'organiza"on'with'a'site'that'provides'informa"on'and'also'creates'a'method'to'contact'coworkers'and
supervisors.'Using'an'intranet,'a'salesperson'can'capture'informa"on'about'a'prospec"ve'customer'during'a'sales'call'or'at'a'trade'show.'The'technology'makes'it'possible'to
personalize'a'presenta"on'and'make'it'specific'to'the'prospect'or'customer.'Extranets'provide'links'between'a'company'and'its'customers,'suppliers,'and'strategic'partners.
Walmart'makes'extensive'use'of'extranets'in'connec"ng'its'buyers'with'suppliers.'The'suppliers'are'able'to'monitor'inventory'levels'in'Walmart'stores'to'provide'product'as'it
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Stockbyte
Many(companies(use(Facebook,(TwiVer,(and
videoconferencing(to(interact(with(fellow
employees(and(clients.
becomes'necessary.
Computerkbased'and'digital'communica"ons'facilitate'formal'interac"ons'in'remote'loca"ons'across'all'levels'of'an
organiza"on.'New'technologies'incorporated'into'smartphones'and'other'handheld'devices'create'instant'access'to
informa"on'and'facilitate'communica"on.'This'speeds'up'the'pace'of'business'for'individuals'and'companies.
Types(of(Formal(Messages
Formal'communica"on'systems'move'various'types'of'informa"on'through'the'organiza"on.'Messages'facilitate
organiza"onal'func"oning'both'internally'and'with'external'groups.'Some'of'the'most'common'types'of'messages'that
travel'via'formal'channels'to'internal'audiences'are'job'instruc"ons,'job'ra"onales,'standardized'informa"on,'team'and
group'coordina"on'efforts,'ques"ons'and'answers,'decisions'and'plans,'and'ideological'indoctrina"on.
Job'instruc"ons'may'take'the'form'of'a'direct'address'by'a'supervisor'instruc"ng'an'employee'how'to'carry'out'a'task'or'set
of'tasks,'employee'training'programs,'performance'appraisal'systems,'or'mentoring'programs.'A'job'ra"onale'explains'why
a'job'should'be'completed'in'a'certain'way'and'the'importance'of'the'job.'Standardized'informa"on'applies'equally'to
everyone'in'the'company,'or'to'each'person'in'a'department.'Company'rules,'protocols'for'evacua"on'in'case'of'an
emergency,'and'procedures'that'apply'to'specific'units'in'the'company'are'forms'of'standardized'informa"on.
To'coordinate'teams'and'groups,'communica"ons'establish'mee"ng'"mes,'dates'and'deadlines,'and'strengthen'rela"onships'between'members.'Protocols'for'elec"ng'a
leader'and'other'essen"al'informa"on'cons"tute'formal'messages'in'team'se?ngs.
Ques"ons'and'answers'move'upward,'downward,'and'laterally'in'business'organiza"ons.'Ques"ons'may'be'posed'by'employees'to'managers,'by'managers'to'employees,'or
by'members'at'the'same'rank,'such'as'supervisors'to'one'another.'Decisions'and'plans'plot'the'direc"on'of'the'company.'Managers'convey'them'verbally,'through'electronic
media,'and'in'wri"ng.'Employees'gain'a'sense'of'direc"on'from'these'announcements.'Ideological'indoctrina"on'statements'remind'employees,'"This'is'a'great'place'to
work."'At'"mes,'the'message'begins'with'a'company's'statement'of'mission.'Value'statements,'such'as'support'for'the'environment'and'social'equality,'are'also'part'of
indoctrina"on'statements.
Informa-on(Richness
Informa-on(richness'represents'the'informa"onkcarrying 'capacity'of'a'communica"on'channel.'At'one'extreme'of'a'con"nuum'of'richness,'a'lean'channel'offers'no'venue'for
feedback,'is'impersonal,'and'transmits'only'a'limited'amount'of'informa"on'(Lengel'&'DaM,'1988).'On'the'other'hand,'a'rich'channel'provides'opportuni"es'for'feedback,'a'full
range'of'visual'and'audio'communica"on,'and'the'opportunity'to'personalize'a'message.'Figure'9.4'summarizes'the'con"nuum'from'the'leanest'channel'to'the'richest
channel.
Complex'messages'and'circumstances'in'which'discussion'and'interac"on'are'needed'require'the'greatest'degree'of'informa"on'richness'in'the'channel.'This'leads'to'ink
person,'facektokface 'interac"ons'where'verbal'and'nonverbal'transmissions'can'both'be'offered.'The'person's'words'are'accompanied'by'intona"on'and'other'cues.'In
business'se?ngs,'addi"onal'cues'can'be'added'through'the'use'of'visual'aids,'such'as'PowerPoint'slides'or'printed'handout'materials.'In'terms'of'richness,'conversa"ons,
mee"ngs,'and'inkperson 'presenta"ons'are'the'richest'channels.'Videoconferencing'and'conference'calls'retain'the'ability'to'move'beyond'words'to'inflec"on'and'other'cues;
however,'the'same'level'of'immediate'feedback'found'in'an'actual'facektokface 'mee"ng'or'an'interac"ve'channel'is'not'present.
Figure(9.4:(Channel(richness
Different(communica-on(channels(offer(varying(levels(of(informa-on(richness.
Source:&Adapted&from&Lengel,&R.&H.,&&&Daa,&R.&L.&(1988,&August).&The'selec"on'of'communica"on'media'as'an'execu"ve'skill.&Academy
of&Management&ExecuSve,&(2),&225–232.
Personal'sta"c'channels,'which'are'the'leaner'of'the'two'moderately'rich'channels,'include'telephone'calls'and'instant'messages.'They'are'leaner'because'visual'elements'and
nonverbal'cues'are'absent;'however,'quickkresponse 'systems'such'as'instant'messaging'create'what'are'nearly'"conversa"ons"'in'which'ques"ons'and'answers'can'be'posed
along'with'proposals'and'counterproposals.'The'leanest'channels'are'those'in'which'verbal'intona"on'and'nonverbal'cues'cannot'be'transmiTed.'Most'printed'documents,
such'as'leTers,'reports,'and'proposals,'are'sent'in'lean'formats.'Standardized'informa"on'with'less'complexity'can'also'be'sent'through'leaner'channels.'Inkdepth 'explana"ons
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Figure(9.5:(Example(of(a
communica-on(chain
In(a(communica-on(chain,(messages(travel
upward(or(downward(through(the(hierarchy.
Source:&G.&Moorehead&&&R.&W.&Griffin&(2001).&Organiza"onal
behavior&(6th&ed.).&Boston:&Houghton&Mifflin.
of'complicated'issues'are'possible'using'lean'formats;'however,'they'are'transmiTed'without'the'benefits'of'other'channels.
Channel'richness'provides'a'tool'that'assists'managers'in'selec"ng'the'best'way'to'send'a'message.'Effec"ve'communicators'match'channel'richness'with'the'message.
Ineffec"ve'communicators'fail'to'match'the'message'with'the'appropriate'medium.
Communica-on(in(Groups
In'circumstances'in'which'groups'of'individuals'interact'rou"nely,'various'forms'of'networks'are'designed'or'simply'emerge.
Among'them,'the'chain,'wheel,'circle,'and'allkchannel 'forms'of'communica"on'and'interac"on'explain'how'messages'travel'in
departments,'teams,'commiTees,'task'forces,'and'similar'se?ngs'(Robbins,'2005).
Chain
The'terms'"chain'of'command"'or'"hierarchy'of'authority"'best'explain'a'communica"on'chain'in'a'small'group.'Messages
flow'primarily'in'two'direc"ons—upward'and'downward'(see'Figure'9.5).'The'group'leader'or'department'manager'relays
decisions'and'gives'orders.'The'chain'concept'also'applies'to'larger'organiza"ons,'where'topklevel 'managers'communicate
with'middle'managers'who'then'transfer'the'informa"on'to'firstkline 'supervisors.'Firstkline 'supervisors'inform'entryklevel
workers.'Ques"ons,'inquiries,'and'requests'for'clarifica"on'follow'the'process'in'reverse.
The'chain'design'offers'benefits'to'certain'types'of'groups'and'organiza"ons.'The'model'fits'with'situa"ons'in'which'precision
in'carrying'out'tasks'or'assignments'holds'high'priority.'The'chain'approach'best'applies'to'companies'that'produce
standardized'products,'with'liTle'need'for'innova"on'or'change.
Wheel
In'a'wheel'arrangement,'a'manager'or'group'leader'becomes'the'center'of'the'wheel,'with'individual'spokes,'or
communica"on'channels,'connec"ng'the'manager'to'subordinates.'The'central'figure'collects'informa"on'and'dispenses'it'to
employees.'Individual'team'members'communicate'only'with'the'control'center'and'not'with'one'another'(see'Figure'9.6).
The'wheel'approach'may'be'used'in'task'forces'or'project'teams,'especially'when'members'are'geographically'dispersed.
Normally'a'wheel'approach'would'not'fit'an'ongoing'managerial'opera"on,'because'team'members'and'employees'are'not
usually'isolated'from'each'other'on'a'con"nuing'basis.
Figure(9.6:(Example(of(a(wheel(design
In(a(wheel(arrangement,(the(central(figure,(or(manager,(collects(informa-on(and(dispenses
it(to(the(employees.
Source:&G.&Moorehead&&&R.&W.&Griffin&(2001).'Organiza"onal'behavior&(6th&ed.).&Boston:&Houghton&Mifflin.
Circle
A'circle'resembles'the'wheel'approach,'only'without'the'central'hub'(see'Figure'9.7).'In'a'circle'system,'team'or'department'members'communicate'freely'with'other
members,'even'though'one'member'of'the'circle'is'the'formally'designated'leader.'The'communica"on'flow'moves'around'the'circle'either'clockwise'or'counterclockwise.
This'design'is'appropriate'for'tasks'that'are'completed'sequen"ally.'One'member's'end'product'becomes'the'beginning'point'for'the'next'member.
The'circle'approach'may'be'found'in'task'force'opera"ons'as'well'as'in'laboratory'se?ngs'in'which'experiments'take'place'in'a'carefully'constructed'format.'It'may'also'fit
certain'crea"ve'endeavors,'such'as'preparing'adver"sements'or'market'research'projects.
Figure(9.7:(Example(of(a(communica-on(circle
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In(a(communica-on(circle,(the(members(communicate(freely,(and(messages(flow(in(either
direc-on(around(the(circle.
Source:&G.&Moorehead&&&R.&W.&Griffin&(2001).&Organiza"onal'behavior&(6th&ed).&Boston:&Houghton&Mifflin.
AllNChannel
In'an'allkchannel 'communica"on'arrangement,'messages'move'freely'across'organiza"onal'ranks'and'among'members'of'a'team,'group,'or'department.'Members'contact
each'other'without'regard'to'"tle'or'status'(see'Figure'9.8).
The'allkchannel 'approach'to'communica"on'design'matches'an'increasing'number'of'departments'and'companies.'Many'Internet'firms,'such'as'Google,'maintain'open'work
spaces'without'doors'or'walls.'Employees'move'about'freely'and'are'encouraged'to'communicate'openly'regarding'new'and'innova"ve'ideas.'Managers'work'side'by'side'with
other'organiza"onal'members,'which'empowers'employees'and'encourages'innova"on.'Consequently,'the'allkchannel 'design'fits'with'units'that'emphasize'crea"vity,'such'as
marke"ng'and'adver"sing'departments'or'research'and'development'departments.
Figure(9.8:(Example(of(an(allWchannel(arrangement
In(an(allWchannel(communica-on(model,(messages(pass(freely(between(members,
regardless(of(rank.
Source:&G.&Moorehead&&&R.&W.&Griffin&(2001).&Organiza"onal'behavior&(6th&ed.)&Boston:&Houghton&Mifflin.
In'summary,'formal'communica"on'consists'of'informa"on'that'travels'through'organiza"onally'designated'channels.'The'channels'include'tradi"onal'verbal'and'wriTen
media'as'well'as'newer'computerkbased'or'digital'transmissions.'Managers'can'take'advantage'of'the'many'forms'to'effec"vely'transmit'and'receive'messages'with'those
inside'and'outside'of'the'company.
Comprehension(Exercise
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Learning'Objec"ve'#4:
How(can(managers(overcome(the(barriers(to(formal(communica-on?
9.4'Barriers'to'Formal'Communica"on
Verbal'and'nonverbal'formal'communica"on'systems'are'the'lifeblood'of'an'organiza"on's'opera"ons.'The'systems'demand'careful'construc"on'and'constant'maintenance.'As
is'the'case'with'interpersonal'communica"on,'barriers'can'interrupt'formal'communica"on.'These'include'interpersonal'difficul"es,'system'overload,'physical'barriers,
selec"ve'filtering,'mismatch'of'message'and'medium,'and'informal'contradic"on'of'the'formal'message.
All'of'the'interpersonal'barriers,'including'individual'differences,'situa"onal'factors,'and'mechanical'problems,'that'interrupt'communica"on'between'individuals'present
poten"al'formal'barriers.'Also,'any'transmission'problem'that'interrupts'conversa"ons'between'two'or'more'individuals'can'become'barriers'to'formal'systems
(Athanassiades,'1973).'System'overload'means'that'too'much'informa"on'reaches'a'person'at'a'given'"me'and'messages'become'lost'as'a'result.'Missing,'misinterpreted,'or
latekarriving'messages'are'symptoms'of'system'overload.'Physical'barriers'include'"me'zone'differences,'telephone'line'and'mobile'phone'sta"c,'and'computers'that'crash
due'to'viruses'or'other'problems.'Office'walls'can'also'provide'physical'barriers'to'effec"ve'communica"on.'Selec"ve'filtering'occurs'when'a'message'changes'as'it'passes
from'one'individual'to'another.'Selec"ve'filtering'includes'"condensa"on,"'or'taking'out'parts'of'the'message,'and'"expansion,"'or'adding'to'a'message.'A'mismatch'of
message'and'medium'occurs'when'a'message'has'been'transmiTed'using'a'channel'that'will'not'reach'the'audience.'When'a'young'employee'sends'a'text'message'to'a
manager'who'does'not'use'the'technology,'the'message'is'lost'due'to'the'use'of'the'wrong'medium.'The'use'of'social'media'creates'new'opportuni"es'for'misunderstanding
how'to'contact'and'communicate'with'employees.'The'use'of'a'verbal'channel'when'something'should'be'put'into'wri"ng'also'cons"tutes'a'mismatch.'Informal
communica"on,'or'gossip,'is'fun.'Consequently,'rumors'oMen'con"nue,'even'those'disputed'by'management'through'the'formal'communica"on'system.'Difficul"es'arise
when'the'formal'message'is'contradicted'by'gossip'or'rumors.'Further,'persistent'nega"ve'rumors'can'affect'morale,'even'when'there'is'no'substance'to'them.
Overcoming(Barriers(to(Formal(Communica-on
Five'important'concepts'assist'in'overcoming'the'barriers'to'formal'communica"on'(Mehdi,'1984;'Samaras,'1980).'Two'pertain'to'the'actual'messages'being'conveyed.'They
are'transmi?ng'important'messages'through'more'than'one'channel'and'matching'the'message'to'the'medium'and'audience.
The'other'three'refer'to'the'overall'communica"on'system.'An'effec"ve'management'informa"on'system'helps'ensure'the'smooth'flow'of'informa"on'to'places'where'it'is
needed.'A'communica"ons'audit'iden"fies'any'problems'within'the'system.'Finally,'proac"ve'management'of'informal'messages,'or'gossip,'within'the'organiza"on'will'help
overcome'barriers'to'formal'communica"on.
Effec9ve%Message%Transmission
Managers'can'use'mul"ple'channels'to'relay'important'items.'This'helps'ensure'that'a'message'arrives'on'"me'and'will'be'received.'For'example,'if'a'manager'wants'to
convey'the'message'that'an'important'mee"ng'has'been'scheduled'for'early'the'next'morning,'the'manager'may'not'only'send'ekmails 'to'the'members'of'his'or'her'team,'but
also'ask'an'assistant'to'call'each'member'personally'to'make'sure'he'or'she'received'the'message.'In'management'communica"on,'redundancy'has'become'more'important
than'ever'in'today's'world'when'seeking'to'ensure'a'message'arrives.
To'match'the'message'and'the'medium,'the'sender'considers'the'audience,'the'content'of'the'message,'the'degree'of'informa"on'richness'required,'and'the'need'for'a
permanent'record'of'the'message'(Lengel'&'DaM,'1988).'As'addi"onal'new'transmission'devices'become'available,'managers'may'need'to'spend'more'"me'explaining'the
proper'channel'for'a'sugges"on,'complaint,'or'request'for'clarifica"on'of'a'direc"ve'to'employees.
Management%Informa9on%Systems
To'make'sure'messages'and'informa"on'travel'efficiently'and'effec"vely'through'an'organiza"on,'the'company'should'establish'and'maintain'a'quality'management
informa"on'system.'A'wellkdesigned'management(informa-on(system((MIS)'consists'of'the'people'and'technologies'used'to'collect'and'process'organiza"onal'informa"on.
An'effec"ve'MIS'begins'with'effec"ve'people'who'know'how'to'collect'important'organiza"onal'informa"on.'The'system'u"lizes'the'best'technologies.'Furthermore,'an
effec"ve'MIS'carries'quality'informa"on.'Key'company'informa"on'is'"mely,'accurate,'important,'and'summarized.'A'manager'should'be'able'to'quickly'access'important
sta"s"cs'and'informa"on.'Individual'employees'should'be'able'to'find'the'types'of'data'that'help'them'perform'their'jobs'most'effec"vely.
Communica9on%Audits
To'ensure'that'a'company's'formal'communica"on'system'serves'the'needs'of'the'organiza"on,'a'communica"on'audit'may'be'undertaken.'A' communica-on(audit'is'a
systema"c'assessment'of'an'organiza"on's'capacity'for,'or'performance'of,'essen"al'communica"ons'prac"ces.'Communica"on'audits'can'be'conducted'by'middle'or'top
managers'or'by'an'outside'consul"ng'group.'The'audits'should'determine'what'works,'what'does'not,'and'what'might'work'beTer'if'adjustments'were'made'(Coffman,'2004).
An'effec"ve'audit'provides'an'assessment'of'current'prac"ce'(diagnosis)'and'then'determines'what'steps'are'needed'to'make'improvements'(prescrip"on).'The'audit'is'not
complete'un"l'both'ac"vi"es'have'taken'place'and'been'implemented.'An'audit'only'succeeds'when'the'communica"on'needs'are'clearly'spelled'out'by'management.
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iStockphoto
In(order(to(ensure(effec-ve(communica-on(within(an(organiza-on,(a
communica-on(audit(may(be(conducted(to(assess(current(prac-ces(and(make(any
necessary(improvements.
jupiterimages
A(significant(amount(of(informa-on(olen(travels(as(gossip(or(rumors.(This(type(of
informal(communica-on(may(contain(faulty(informa-on(about(the(company.
Management%of%Informal%Communica9on
A'substan"al'number'of'messages'transmiTed'in'a'company'do'not'flow'through'an'authorized
channel'or'are'dedicated'to'a'topic'that'does'not'serve'the'organiza"on's'interests.'These'kinds'of
messages'are'referred'to'as' informal(communica-on,'and'they'are'a'part'of'everyday'life'in'most
organiza"ons.'Other'names'for'informal'communica"on'include'"gossip,"'"rumors,"'and'"the
grapevine."'The'military'term'for'informal'communica"on'is'"scuTlebuT."
Managers'should'not'ignore'gossip.'They'can'handle'it'most'effec"vely'by'understanding'how'gossip
works,'tapping'in'to'what'is'being'said'informally,'transmi?ng'some'types'of'messages,'and'ac"vely
dealing'with'false'rumors.
To'understand'gossip,'four'elements'should'be'considered.'First,'rumors'travel'quickly.'In'this
electronic'age,'an'indiscre"on'can'be'posted'on'a'social'media'site'in'a'maTer'of'seconds'and
remain'there'indefinitely.'Many'people'don't'realize'that'once'a'rumor'has'been'started,'or'a
comment'posted'online,'that'message'may'be'impossible'to'stop.'Of'course,'this'isn't'a'new
concept;'rumors'have'always'"spread'like'wildfire"'(Davis,'1969).'Second,'managers'should
understand'that'both'true'informa"on'and'misinforma"on'travel'through'informal'channels.
Es"mates'are'that'nearly'onekthird'of'all'rumors'contain'faulty'informa"on'or'mistruths'(Davis,
1975).'Any'rumor'deserves'a'considerable'amount'of'skep"cism.'Third,'rumors'are'tuned'to'employee'needs'and'may'reflect'commonly'held'percep"ons'about'the'company.
In'essence,'people'gossip'about'the'things'they'think'are'interes"ng.'Common'gossip'topics'include'pay,'human'resource'decisions,'company'plans,'office'romances,'sexual
iden"ty,'and'office'conflicts.'Fourth,'gossip'creates'social'power.'Informal'communica"on'includes'elements'of'socializa"on'in'which'those'who'have'access'to'rumors'feel
socially'included'(Kurland'&'Pelled,'2000).
Tapping'in'to'the'company'rumor'mill'means'finding'ways'to'hear'what'is'being'said'informally.
The'phrase'used'to'describe'this'ac"vity'is'"having'a'pipeline."'With'the'emergence'of'instant
messaging'and'social'media,'discovering'what'employees'are'talking'about'has'become'easier.
Informal'communica"on'can'also'be'used'to'send'messages.'Some'managers'transmit'"trial
balloons,"'whereby'ideas'are'tested'out'informally.'A'manager'in'a'break'room'asks'how
salespeople'would'feel'if'the'company'moved'from'a'commissionkonly 'pay'system'to'a'salaryk
pluskcommission'program,'in'order'to'reduce'pay'vola"lity'and'levels'of'stress.'Clearly'the'sales
team'will'talk'about'the'idea,'and'the'manager'will'receive'feedback.'Other'managers'use
informal'channels'to'praise'the'efforts'and'accomplishments'of'workers.
The'presence'of'con"nuing'false'rumors'means'managers'should'be'con"nually'aware'of'what
happens'in'the'channel.'When'a'nega"ve'rumor'con"nues'to'damage'the'standing'of'an
employee'or'of'the'company,'ac"on'should'be'taken.'Two'primary'strategies'exist'for'dealing'with
false'rumors.'First,'managers'can'formally'refute'the'rumor'by'sending'messages'in'either'verbal
or'wriTen'form'that'contradict'the'derogatory'informa"on.'These'messages'must'be'carefully
craMed'or'they'run'the'risk'of'making'a'rumor'more'credible.'The'best'approach'includes
presen"ng'tangible'evidence'that'a'rumor'has'been'invented.'The'second'strategy'relies'on'dealing'with'the'rumor'on'an'individual'basis.'A'manager'can'pull'aside'key
employees'and'talk'about'why'the'story'is'not'true'and'point'out'the'damage'the'rumor'has'caused.'The'manager'can'also'suggest'that'if'the'gossiper'is'discovered,
consequences'will'follow'(Davis,'1975).
Comprehension(Exercise
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Business(Culture:(Mee-ng(People
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Business Culture: Meeting People
From Title: Your Cultural Passport to International Busine...
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In(Western(cultures,(a(handshake(is(the(tradi-onal(gree-ng,(whereas(other
countries(have(different(customs.
Learning'Objec"ve'#5:
How(can(managers(effec-vely(communicate(in(interna-onal(se_ngs?
9.5'Interna"onal'and'Intercultural'Interpersonal'Communica"on
The'barriers'to'interpersonal'communica"on'that'were'discussed'earlier'may'become'magnified'in'interac"ons
with'ci"zens'of'other'countries.'Gender'equality'and'inequality'strongly'affects'paTerns'of'communica"on'between
males'and'females'in'other'countries.'Older'persons'are'highly'respected'in'one'culture'and'disrespected'in
another.'Asking'ques"ons'about'a'person's'age'can'make'the'receiver'uncomfortable'in'Western'cultures.
Percentages'of'a'popula"on'that'are'educated'vary'widely'across'countries,'thereby'affec"ng'status'levels'and'the
ability'to'communicate.'The'most'commonly'cited'barriers'to'communica"on'in'interna"onal'se?ngs'include
language'and'slang;'gree"ngs;'directness;'speaking'versus'silence;'eye'contact;'ethnocentrism;'differences'in'the
meaning'of'nonverbal'cues;'personal'space'issues;'use'of'symbols'and'cultural'icons;'and'"me'and'tardiness.
Language(and(Slang
Language'and'slang'create'barriers'to'interna"onal'communica"on.'An'individual'who'only'speaks'English'will
experience'difficul"es'when'a'business'partner'only'speaks'Italian,'even'with'a'translator'present.'Some'languages,
such'as'Mandarin,'use'characters'rather'than'leTers'in'wri"ng.'Slang'within'a'language'can'further'complicate
communica"on.'Care'should'always'be'given'to'word'choice.'In'Japan,'a'person'nodding'"yes"'and'saying' hai'is
communica"ng,'"I'am'listening,"'rather'than'"I'agree."
Communica"on'is'affected'by'cultural'context.'In'a' highWcontext(culture'such'as'China,'Japan,'Korea,'Vietnam,'and
to'a'lesser'extent'Egypt,'Saudi'Arabia,'and'Lebanon,'the'use'of'nonverbal,'situa"onal'cues'greatly'influences'interac"ons.'Personal'status,'se?ngs,'and'rituals'become
important'parts'of'nego"a"ons'and'business'rela"onships.'Trust'building'is'important'and'oral'agreements'imply'strong'commitments.
In'a' lowWcontext(culture'such'as'the'United'States,'Canada'and'most'of'Europe'(Hall,'1976),'there'is'greater'emphasis'on'the'use'of'words'to'convey'meaning.'In'such'cultures,
contracts'and'other'carefully'worded,'legal'documents'are'rou"ne.'Se?ngs,'"tles,'and'status'play'a'much'lesser'role'in'communica"ons'and'business'rela"onships.
Gree-ngs
In'Asia,'people'bow'to'greet'business'partners.'In'Western'cultures,'the'tradi"onal'gree"ng'involves'shaking'hands.'Gree"ng'a'business'contact'with'a'kiss'on'the'cheek'is'a
common'gesture'in'certain'European'countries.'In'Russia,'two'close'friends'will'hug'when'they'meet.'Germans,'on'the'other'hand,'prefer'more'formal'rela"onships'with
business'partners,'so'first'names'will'not'be'used.'Also,'asking'a'personal'ques"on'about'someone's'family'or'children'may'be'inappropriate'in'more'reserved'cultures.
Other'nuances'exist.'In'Korea,'a'person'touches'his'elbow'while'shaking'hands'to'indicate'respect.'A
man'shaking'a'woman's'hand'is'forbidden'in'many'Muslim'regions.'And'in'Pakistan,'women'do'not
even'shake'hands'with'one'another.
Following'an'introduc"on,'the'custom'in'many'countries,'especially'in'Asia,'is'to'first'build'trust.
Business'should'not'be'discussed'un"l'a'more'cordial'rela"onship'has'formed,'which'may'take'"me
and'more'than'one'mee"ng.'In'other'countries,'the'partners'will'immediately'move'on'to'the
purpose'of'the'mee"ng.'In'Finland,'the'expression' suoraan&liiketoimintaa'means'"straight'to
business."
Conversa-onal(Directness
Conversa"onal'directness'is'culturally'based.'For'example,'in'Holland,'strong,'direct'language'is'used
in'conversa"on.'In'fact,'if'a'business'partner'does'not'speak'in'a'direct'way,'the'person'may'be
viewed'as'weak'or'unreliable.'In'many'Asian'countries,'language'and'conversa"on'are'highly
deferent.'Disagreement'is'expressed'in'the'most'modest'terms'possible.'Deferent'language'avoids
directly'challenging'a'person'or'appearing'disrespecaul'in'any'way.'Instea