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Organizational Behavior

11.2 Types of Communications in Organizations

Organizational Behavior11.2 Types of Communications in Organizations
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  1. Preface
  2. 1 Management and Organizational Behavior
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 The Nature of Work
    3. 1.2 The Changing Workplace
    4. 1.3 The Nature of Management
    5. 1.4 A Model of Organizational Behavior and Management
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Critical Thinking Case
  3. 2 Individual and Cultural Differences
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Individual and Cultural Factors in Employee Performance
    3. 2.2 Employee Abilities and Skills
    4. 2.3 Personality: An Introduction
    5. 2.4 Personality and Work Behavior
    6. 2.5 Personality and Organization: A Basic Conflict?
    7. 2.6 Personal Values and Ethics
    8. 2.7 Cultural Differences
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Chapter Review Questions
    12. Management Skills Application Exercises
    13. Managerial Decision Exercises
    14. Critical Thinking Case
  4. 3 Perception and Job Attitudes
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 The Perceptual Process
    3. 3.2 Barriers to Accurate Social Perception
    4. 3.3 Attributions: Interpreting the Causes of Behavior
    5. 3.4 Attitudes and Behavior
    6. 3.5 Work-Related Attitudes
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Chapter Review Questions
    10. Management Skills Application Exercises
    11. Managerial Decision Exercises
    12. Critical Thinking Case
  5. 4 Learning and Reinforcement
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Basic Models of Learning
    3. 4.2 Reinforcement and Behavioral Change
    4. 4.3 Behavior Modification in Organizations
    5. 4.4 Behavioral Self-Management
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  6. 5 Diversity in Organizations
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 An Introduction to Workplace Diversity
    3. 5.2 Diversity and the Workforce
    4. 5.3 Diversity and Its Impact on Companies
    5. 5.4 Challenges of Diversity
    6. 5.5 Key Diversity Theories
    7. 5.6 Benefits and Challenges of Workplace Diversity
    8. 5.7 Recommendations for Managing Diversity
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Chapter Review Questions
    12. Management Skills Application Exercises
    13. Managerial Decision Exercises
    14. Critical Thinking Case
  7. 6 Perception and Managerial Decision Making
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 Overview of Managerial Decision-Making
    3. 6.2 How the Brain Processes Information to Make Decisions: Reflective and Reactive Systems
    4. 6.3 Programmed and Nonprogrammed Decisions
    5. 6.4 Barriers to Effective Decision-Making
    6. 6.5 Improving the Quality of Decision-Making
    7. 6.6 Group Decision-Making
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  8. 7 Work Motivation for Performance
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Motivation: Direction and Intensity
    3. 7.2 Content Theories of Motivation
    4. 7.3 Process Theories of Motivation
    5. 7.4 Recent Research on Motivation Theories
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  9. 8 Performance Appraisal and Rewards
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Performance Appraisal Systems
    3. 8.2 Techniques of Performance Appraisal
    4. 8.3 Feedback
    5. 8.4 Reward Systems in Organizations
    6. 8.5 Individual and Group Incentive Plans
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Chapter Review Questions
    10. Management Skills Application Exercises
    11. Managerial Decision Exercises
    12. Critical Thinking Case
  10. 9 Group and Intergroup Relations
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Work Groups: Basic Considerations
    3. 9.2 Work Group Structure
    4. 9.3 Managing Effective Work Groups
    5. 9.4 Intergroup Behavior and Performance
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  11. 10 Understanding and Managing Work Teams
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Teamwork in the Workplace
    3. 10.2 Team Development Over Time
    4. 10.3 Things to Consider When Managing Teams
    5. 10.4 Opportunities and Challenges to Team Building
    6. 10.5 Team Diversity
    7. 10.6 Multicultural Teams
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  12. 11 Communication
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 The Process of Managerial Communication
    3. 11.2 Types of Communications in Organizations
    4. 11.3 Factors Affecting Communications and the Roles of Managers
    5. 11.4 Managerial Communication and Corporate Reputation
    6. 11.5 The Major Channels of Management Communication Are Talking, Listening, Reading, and Writing
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Chapter Review Questions
    10. Management Skills Application Exercises
    11. Managerial Decision Exercises
    12. Critical Thinking Case
  13. 12 Leadership
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 The Nature of Leadership
    3. 12.2 The Leadership Process
    4. 12.3 Leader Emergence
    5. 12.4 The Trait Approach to Leadership
    6. 12.5 Behavioral Approaches to Leadership
    7. 12.6 Situational (Contingency) Approaches to Leadership
    8. 12.7 Substitutes for and Neutralizers of Leadership
    9. 12.8 Transformational, Visionary, and Charismatic Leadership
    10. 12.9 Leadership Needs in the 21st Century
    11. Key Terms
    12. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    13. Chapter Review Questions
    14. Management Skills Application Exercises
    15. Managerial Decision Exercises
    16. Critical Thinking Case
  14. 13 Organizational Power and Politics
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 Power in Interpersonal Relations
    3. 13.2 Uses of Power
    4. 13.3 Political Behavior in Organizations
    5. 13.4 Limiting the Influence of Political Behavior
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  15. 14 Conflict and Negotiations
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Conflict in Organizations: Basic Considerations
    3. 14.2 Causes of Conflict in Organizations
    4. 14.3 Resolving Conflict in Organizations
    5. 14.4 Negotiation Behavior
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  16. 15 External and Internal Organizational Environments and Corporate Culture
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 The Organization's External Environment
    3. 15.2 External Environments and Industries
    4. 15.3 Organizational Designs and Structures
    5. 15.4 The Internal Organization and External Environments
    6. 15.5 Corporate Cultures
    7. 15.6 Organizing for Change in the 21st Century
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  17. 16 Organizational Structure and Change
    1. Introduction
    2. 16.1 Organizational Structures and Design
    3. 16.2 Organizational Change
    4. 16.3 Managing Change
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    7. Chapter Review Questions
    8. Management Skills Application Exercises
    9. Managerial Decision Exercises
    10. Critical Thinking Case
  18. 17 Human Resource Management
    1. Introduction
    2. 17.1 An Introduction to Human Resource Management
    3. 17.2 Human Resource Management and Compliance
    4. 17.3 Performance Management
    5. 17.4 Influencing Employee Performance and Motivation
    6. 17.5 Building an Organization for the Future
    7. 17.6 Talent Development and Succession Planning
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  19. 18 Stress and Well Being
    1. Introduction
    2. 18.1 Problems of Work Adjustment
    3. 18.2 Organizational Influences on Stress
    4. 18.3 Buffering Effects of Work related Stress
    5. 18.4 Coping with Work related Stress
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Critical Thinking Case
  20. 19 Entrepreneurship
    1. Introduction
    2. 19.1 Overview of Entrepreneurship
    3. 19.2 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
    4. 19.3 Business Model Canvas
    5. 19.4 New Venture Financing
    6. 19.5 Design Thinking
    7. 19.6 Optimal Support for Entrepreneurship
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  21. A | Scientific Method in Organizational Research
  22. B | Scoring Keys for Self-Assessment Exercises
  23. References
  24. Index
  1. Know the types of communications that occur in organizations.

In the communication model described above, three types of communication can be used by either the communicator in the initial transmission phase or the receiver in the feedback phase. These three types are discussed next.

Oral Communication

This consists of all messages or exchanges of information that are spoken, and it’s the most prevalent type of communication.

Written Communication

This includes e-mail, texts, letters, reports, manuals, and annotations on sticky notes. Although managers prefer oral communication for its efficiency and immediacy, the increase in electronic communication is undeniable. As well, some managers prefer written communication for important messages, such as a change in a company policy, where precision of language and documentation of the message are important.

Managerial Leadership

Dealing with Information Overload

One of the challenges in many organizations is dealing with a deluge of emails, texts, voicemails, and other communication. Organizations have become flatter, outsourced many functions, and layered technology to speed communication with an integrated communication programs such as Slack, which allows users to manage all their communication and access shared resources in one place. This can lead to information overload, and crucial messages may be drowned out by the volume in your inbox.

Add the practice of “reply to all,” which can add to the volume of communication, that many coworkers use, and that means that you may get five or six versions of an initial e-mail and need to understand all of the responses as well as the initial communication before responding or deciding that the issue is resolved and no response is needed. Here are suggestions to dealing with e-mail overload upward, horizontally, and downward within your organization and externally to stakeholders and customers.

One way to reduce the volume and the time you spend on e-mail is to turn off the spigot of incoming messages. There are obvious practices that help, such as unsubscribing to e-newsletters or turning off notifications from social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. Also consider whether your colleagues or direct reports are copying you on too many emails as an FYI. If yes, explain that you only need to be updated at certain times or when a final decision is made.

You will also want to set up a system that will organize your inbox into “folders” that will allow you to manage the flow of messages into groups that will allow you to address them appropriately. Your system might look something like this:

  1. Inbox: Treat this as a holding pen. E-mails shouldn’t stay here any longer than it takes for you to file them into another folder. The exception is when you respond immediately and are waiting for an immediate response.
  2. Today: This is for items that need a response today.
  3. This week: This is for messages that require a response before the end of the week.
  4. This month/quarter: This is for everything that needs a longer-term response. Depending on your role, you may need a monthly or quarterly folder.
  5. FYI: This is for any items that are for information only and that you may want to refer back to in the future.

This system prioritizes e-mails based on timescales rather than the e-mails’ senders, enabling you to better schedule work and set deadlines.

Another thing to consider is your outgoing e-mail. If your outgoing messages are not specific, too long, unclear, or are copied too widely, your colleagues are likely to follow the same practice when communicating with you. Keep your communication clear and to the point, and managing your outbox will help make your inbound e-mails manageable.

Critical Thinking Questions
  1. How are you managing your e-mails now? Are you mixing personal and school and work-related e-mails in the same account?
  2. How would you communicate to a colleague that is sending too many FYI e-mails, sending too may unclear e-mails, or copying too many people on her messages?

Sources: Amy Gallo, Stop Email Overload, Harvard Business Review, February 21, 2012, https://hbr.org/2012/02/stop-email-overload-1; Barry Chingel, “How to beat email Overload in 2018”, CIPHER, January 16, 2018, https://www.ciphr.com/advice/email-overload/; Monica Seely, “At the Mercy of Your Inbox? How to Cope With Email Overload”, The Guardian, November 6, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2017/nov/06/at-the-mercy-of-your-inbox-how-to-cope-with-email-overload.

Nonverbal Communication

There is also the transformation of information without speaking or writing. Some examples of this are things such as traffic lights and sirens as well as things such as office size and placement, which connote something or someone of importance. As well, things such as body language and facial expression can convey either conscious or unconscious messages to others.

A photo shows a group of people attentively listening to a presentation in a meeting.
Exhibit 11.3 Body Language at a Meeting Your body language can send messages during a meeting. (Credit: Amtec Photos/ Flickr/ Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

Major Influences on Interpersonal Communication

Regardless of the type of communication involved, the nature, direction, and quality of interpersonal communication processes can be influenced by several factors.3

Social Influences

Communication is a social process, as it takes at least two people to have a communication episode. There is a variety of social influences that can affect the accuracy of the intended message. For examples, status barriers between employees at different levels of the organization can influence things such as addressing a colleague as at a director level as “Ms. Jones” or a coworker at the same level as “Mike.” Prevailing norms and roles can dictate who speaks to whom and how someone responds. Exhibit 11.4 illustrates a variety of communications that illustrate social influences in the workplace.

A diagram shows a variety of communications that illustrate social influences in the workplace.
Exhibit 11.4 Patterns of Managerial Communication (Attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC-BY 4.0 license)

Perception

In addition, the communication process is heavily influenced by perceptual processes. The extent to which an employee accurately receives job instructions from a manager may be influences by her perception of the manager, especially if the job instructions conflict with her interest in the job or if they are controversial. If an employee has stereotyped the manager as incompetent, chances are that little that the manager says will be taken seriously. If the boss is well regarded or seen as influential in the company, everything that she says may be interpreted as important.

Interaction Involvement

Communication effectiveness can be influenced by the extent to which one or both parties are involved in conversation. This attentiveness is called interaction attentiveness or interaction involvement.4 If the intended receiver of the message is preoccupied with other issues, the effectiveness of the message may be diminished. Interaction involvement consists of three interrelated dimensions: responsiveness, perceptiveness, and attentiveness.

Organizational Design

The communication process can also be influenced by the design of the organization. It has often been argued to decentralize an organization because that will lead to a more participative structure and lead to improved communication in the organization. When messages must travel through multiple levels of an organization, the possibility of distortion can also occur, which would be diminished with more face-to-face communication.

A photo shows a group of four business professionals working together on a laptop.
Exhibit 11.5 Informal Communication in Organizations Smart managers understand that not all of a company’s influential relationships appear as part of the organization chart. A web of informal, personal connections exists between workers, and vital information and knowledge pass through this web constantly. Using social media analysis software and other tracking tools, managers can map and quantify the normally invisible relationships that form between employees at all levels of an organization. How might identifying a company’s informal organization help managers foster teamwork, motivate employees, and boost productivity? (Credit: Exeter/ flickr/ Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

Concept Check

  1. What are the three major types of communication?
  2. How can you manage the inflow of electronic communication?
  3. What are the major influences on organizational communication, and how can organizational design affect communication?
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